Now here's something everybody can get excited about: A better lithium-ion battery.
Typical lithium-ion batteries have a positive electrode that consists of lithium combined with cobalt, nickel and oxygen. The New Scientist Tech reports researchers at Chicago's Argonne National Laboratory discovered they can double the capacity and boost the power of these batteries by adding manganese.
And here's the clincher: These new and improved batteries will actually be cheaper to make.
"How can this be?" you ask. Well, manganese is cheaper than nickel and copper.
That's great news for anybody who uses a laptop or cell phone -- which is to say, just about everybody.
Researchers are now testing to see how much they can replace the nickel and copper with the manganese crystal.