Smartphone technology has improved a great deal in the last decade, although battery technology appears to be going nowhere.

That might just change as designers have discovered what they call the "Holy Grail" of battery design, using carbon nanospheres to build a stable pure lithium anode, although design issues remain to be worked out.  

Steven Chu, a former U.S. Secretary of Energy, says the new design could allow for longer battery life in electric cars and smartphones. If this is the case, then it would definitely answer our prayers for longer battery life in our personal devices.  

 "Of all the materials that one might use in an anode, lithium has the greatest potential. Some call it the Holy Grail," said Yi Cui, a professor of material science and engineering and leader of the research team. "It is very lightweight and it has the highest energy density. You get more power per volume and weight, leading to lighter, smaller batteries with more power."  

Despite the breakthrough in design, researchers have a few problems they must first overcome before anything can be done. You see, lithium ions expand as they collect on the anode during charging, so because of this, researchers are unable to utilize the lithium for the anode.  

Another issue is that lithium is highly reactive to electrolytes, and also is suspected to give off a high amount of heat that could cause fire or an explosion.  

To get these issues under control, researchers choose to use a protective layer called nanospheres to place on top of the lithium anode.

Researchers have long sought to use an anode metal to build lithium batteries because of its high-energy density and low weight. This could lead to lighter and smaller battery designs with more power, though it is not certain how much more power we're talking about here.  

The hard work researchers are putting into this lithium anode battery could make things easier and better for smartphone and tablet users, if it ever takes off commercially.

Despite all the hardships, researchers are still optimistic that this plan will work. At this point, we can only hope that something good comes from this plan, and not total destruction. 

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