One of the smartphone components that can explode on overheating is the battery. The very streamline design of the Galaxy Note 7 and its faulty battery caused those phablets to explode because of which Samsung had to carry out global recall. Hence, smartphone OEMs carry out numerous quality tests on the battery to ensure total safety to the user. Some companies are also researching on new technologies that can prevent exploding risks on batteries. A team of researchers from the University of Maryland are working on a water-based battery and have published their research in the journal Joule.
Smartphones usually make use of lithium-ion batteries that contain electrolytes that assist in moving ions between electrodes. Since these electrolytes are made from organic chemicals, they may ignite under some conditions. Water-based electrolytes that are fireproof do exist, but they are not very powerful since water is not very reactive in nature.
The researchers have devised lithium-ion batteries that makes use of water in place of organic chemicals. Moreover, these batteries are as powerful as tis organic chemical counterpart and they do not explode. The electrodes of these new batteries contain a coating that does not degrade when it comes in contact with water-based electrolyte. These newly developed batteries function better than the already existing water-based batteries.
There is one major issue associated with the new kind of battery is that it can only function for around 70 cycles. Batteries that are required for smartphones should have longer life of around 500 cycles. Hence, the researchers need to clear the next hurdle so the battery can be used on daily devices.
Once the above obstacle is cleared, we may soon see smartphones with water-based batteries. All the technical details of their research can be found in the source link.