Recharge your phone in seconds, claim MIT engineers

A new technique developed by research engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) could lead to handset batteries being charged 18 times faster. The work, by Gerbrand Ceder, a professor of materials science and engineering at MIT, should usher in smaller, lighter batteries for cellphones and other devices that could recharge in seconds rather than hours.

The technique, which does involve complex science, calls for a different approach to making lithium batteries that allows the electrons to move at a quicker pace. The material involved is not new--lithium iron phosphate--but the researchers have simply changed the way they make it, and Ceder believes batteries using the new approach could make it into the marketplace within two to three years. In real terms, this could mean, assuming current handset batteries take around 60 minutes to charge, this new technique could cut the time to approximately four minutes.

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