A group of scientists headed up by Washington State chemistry professor Choong-Shik Yoo have created the most powerful battery known to man. Yo describes it as the “most condensed form of energy storage outside of nuclear energy,” only this battery won’t give your goldfish a third eye. And not only is it incredibly cool to imagine how long this could power your flashlight for, the process through which it was made it equally deserving of drool-infused awe.
The material of the battery is a white crystal, xenon diflouride (XeF2). And for the battery to be created, this crystal needs to be put under a lot of pressure. And we’re not talking strongest man in the world squeezing it pressure (though that would be an awesome way to make batteries), we’re talking halfway to the center of the planet pressure. Enough to squeeze Magnus into a Wall-E sized cube. This pressure is applied with diamond anvils. Diamonds!
At first the pressure just flattens the crystal, but as the pressure mounts to unimaginable levels, the structure of the crystal changes completely. A 3-D network is formed, storing all the energy put into the squeezing as potential chemical energy in the battery. And as you can surely guess, that center-of-the-Earth-esque pressure makes for an incredible amount of energy.
This is new tech, so there’s no telling just what it will allow us to do in the long run. But I’d be willing to take bets on whether it’ll make its way into the iPhone 5 in a few years. The potential of batteries has been changed more than ever before, all over again.