If you own a smartphone, you'll be familiar with the 'low-battery anxiety', which researchers recently proved is real. It seems now that another team of scientists are working to battle against this very issue.
Researchers at McGill University in Montreal and Hydro-Quebec have found a way to incorporate light-harvesting materials into a smartphone battery. The team added molecules with a photosensitive dye into the battery terminal. This simulated charging, but used solar power rather than electricity.
If the researchers can develop a terminal that will store and release the energy, they will have created the first self-charging lithium-ion battery.
Don't get your hopes up just yet, however, as this process is likely to take years.
“Theoretically speaking, our goal is to develop a new hybrid solar-battery system, but depending on the power it can generate when we miniaturise it, we can imagine applications for portable devices such as phones,” said lead researcher, Andrea Paolella.
The team is working to develop the second phase of the project after it received a $564,000 (€519,000) grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.