Apple Working With U.S. Authorities on New Battery Coatings That Will Help Improve the Cells’ Performance


We’re still far from seeing graphene batteries fueling portable computers and smartphones, with a significant breakthrough seemingly unlikely in this category on a commercial scale in the near future. However, that isn’t stopping Apple from experimenting with new techniques that will improve battery performance for a variety of its product line. According to the latest report, the technology giant is working with the U.S. government to introduce new coatings that will apparently improve battery performance.

Current Batteries Cause Energy Density Loss; Apple Is Looking for a Way to Develop Coatings to Prevent This

On February 11, a new patent was published, which describes the need for a new coating to improve battery performance. According to Apple, aluminum oxide or aluminum fluoride coating is applied to the cathode particles to prevent the dissolving of the transition metals from the cathodes to the electrolyte. Unfortunately, this aluminum oxide or aluminum fluoride coating causes energy density loss for the battery, requiring a new coating that will help improve performance.

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Both Apple and the U.S. government have invented a combination of surface coating and lithium-ion cathode materials to demonstrate improved average voltage and cycle retention over a conventional alumina coating. According to Patently Apple’s findings, the figure below shows that the battery is created using a set of layers that might be stacked in a plane or wounded formation. These kind of cells might be found in upcoming iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple Watch, Macs, accessories, and more in the future.

Unfortunately, Apple hasn’t informed if the new technology will be found in the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini, though the latter models will reportedly use a different cell type that helps reduce internal space and reduce costs. There’s only so far companies can progress with energy-efficient processors and custom silicon; there’s little to no innovation on the battery segment, though there is countless research that has proven longer run times.

Sadly, these aren’t commercially viable in terms of mass production and cost, so manufacturers have no choice but to stick with current-generation technology found in our mobile devices. Perhaps in the future, we’ll see some advancements like the one detailed above, and when that happens, we’ll update our audience.

Image Credits - iFixit

News Source: Patently Apple