"Oh well guys we will have to continue our lab report later because my laptop is running out of juice."
Did such a situation ever happen to you? If you use any battery-powered device, then the answer is most probably yes.
Researchers at MIT have discovered a way to speed up the recharging of Li-ion batteries - something that could change the lifestyle of people. The potential of this breakthrough is very large; it can go from electronic devices to electric cars. Imagine driving far away in an electric car and never running out of power, because each time you stop at a red traffic light, the car batteries have time to recharge. That would be awesome.
Byoungwoo Kang and Gerbrand Ceder worked on how lithium ions travelled from the cathode back to the anode. They achieved their goal by changing the structure of the standard Li-ion battery, making use of nanoparticles and some other elements such as carbon.
However there is still a limit, which is dictated by the principle of conservation of energy. A battery can only store a given amount and the charger plugged in the outlet is limited on the power it can provide. (Power is a measure of energy per time). For example, consider a battery that can store 1 MJ and a charger plugged on a US household electric grid. This means 115V*15A(which is the limit of a standard outlet), gives 1725W = 1725 J/sec. Therefore, 1 MJ / 1725J/sec = 580 seconds, which is 9min 40 sec. Therefore, the battery cannot be charged quicker than that because it would use energy out of nowhere.