A trip down the memory lane of smartphones tells us a lot about the large size and high usage of power required by the then computing machines like the ENIAC. Thanks to solid state electronics, even little kids now hold small computing devices – smartphones. The persistent problem despite our improved technology is its battery life.
The obvious reason
Batteries hold more juice when their size is large. While processors and other components have continued to improve performance despite shrinking in size, battery capacity is directly linked to physical size. And that is a problem.
Apart from this, the typical smartphone batteries are Li-ion batteries. These can tolerate rugged charging to a certain extent after which, the charge capacity swooshes down and your battery fails you. Many apps are out there in app stores but none improve the battery life more than it claims to improve.
For the handy smartphones we use, we get a small battery with its capacity naturally less than the bigger ones. For the sole purpose of better battery life, we cannot expect companies to shrink its size keeping the capacity intact as a whole. And batteries are not similar to the high speed processors which have the size of a pea. Batteries are just composed of chemical agents that act as the necessary life source of the smartphone.
Batteries just convert their chemical energy to run all the actions in your higher-end smartphones. Higher the quantity of the chemicals more will be its charge capacity and longer will be its life.
Probable solution with cutting edge technologies
So if any researcher aims to improve the battery life and miniaturize it, then that development would perhaps end this problem of diminishing battery life of the smartphones. Apple however has tried its best to improve its products’ battery life and capacity by thickening its size to tackle with the size and surface area issues.
Some new fields have arisen especially to counteract this problem. Nanotechnology and the use of graphene have really helped to improve and reduce the charging time of batteries. Graphene is the latest in the allotropes of carbon which is paving its own way in the future of electronics.
Latest improvements are the incorporation of nano-graphene into the Li-sulfur batteries to increase its efficiency, the number of charge-discharge cycles and so on. For deeper details, this link would be enlightening.
Also bottom-up approach in making of nanowires and increasing its length has shown to improve the life and capacity of batteries. Plus, a polymer is also coated so efficiently that there are no breaks in the coating. Read more here.
Hope is always brightest at the hearth. So we do really believe there will be a time when smartphone batteries would have very long discharge time, best not good battery life with the highest number of charge-discharge cycles. At that particular epic moment in material sciences and battery technology, the then smartphone battery will have a story to tell.