Fast smartphone charge technology based on biological semiconductors

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A Tel Aviv start-up has developed technology that charges a smartphone battery to full capacity in under a minute.

StoreDot, which is managed by Dr Doron Myersdorf and directed by chief scientists Prof Gil Rosenman and Prof Simon Litsyn of Tel Aviv University’s (TAU) School of Electrical Engineering, recently presented a new prototype battery compatible with the Samsung Galaxy 4 that can be charged to full capacity in just 30 seconds. StoreDot is currently in the process of developing the device for use in other brands of smartphone.

The technology is based on so-called nanodots derived from bioorganic material. Because of to their size and unique physical and electrochemical properties, nanodots increase electrode capacity and electrolyte performance, resulting in development of a new type of battery that can be fully charged in minutes rather than hours. These biological semiconductors are made from peptides, which are short chains of amino acids that constitute the building blocks of proteins.

Early research on the peptide technologies and their applications was conducted at both Tel Aviv University and Tower Jazz Semiconductors.

‘These nanodots, only two nanometres in size, are elementary building blocks that assemble themselves from chemically synthesized biomolecules,’ said Prof. Rosenman in a statement. ‘They are tiny nanocrystals, which possess unique physical properties. We ‘broke’ the bio-nanotubes into building blocks, just as large pieces of metal are broken into individual atoms.’

StoreDot’s bioorganic new generation of batteries provides more efficient power consumption and is said to be more eco-friendly than technologies currently in use. Manufacturing these bionanodots is also relatively inexpensive as they originate naturally and utilise a basic biological mechanism of self-assembly. They also can be made from a vast range of readily available bioorganic raw materials.

The prototype charger is currently the size of a laptop charger, but the company said it is in the process of reducing its size.

The estimated price will be twice that of an average phone charger, researchers estimate, and commercial production is slated for late 2016.