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金沙网站登录:Apple patents point to slimmer battery tech

发布时间:2017-09-03 07:01:24来源:未知点击:

By Paul Marks Graphene, the wonder material whose glittering array of electrical and thermal properties won its discoverers a Nobel prize in 2010, could soon be helping Apple’s iPhones and iPads pack more power. The company has filed a US patent application (2013/0136966) on a graphene-based heat sink for the lithium batteries and circuit boards in its tablets and smartphones. Graphene is a form of carbon that comes in sheets one-atom thick, with its atoms arranged in a honeycomb lattice. It is 10 times better at conducting heat than graphite, which is often used as a heat sink in mobile gadgets. But in order to adequately cool a battery, a graphite coating is typically 30 micrometres thick. That eats up space within the gadget enclosure that could be used for a bigger battery, explains inventor Ramesh Bhardwaj of Fremont, California, in Apple’s patent application. By coating a polypropylene battery casing with graphene, he says, the heat sink can occupy a fraction of the space of the graphite version for the same heat dissipation – allowing for a bigger, longer-lasting battery to be installed. Graphene is also being explored as a substance for storing electricity in next-generation batteries and supercapacitors. At the University of Manchester, in the UK – where Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov isolated graphene in 2004 – researchers have just embarked on a £2.2 million research programme to create high-capacity energy-storage devices with the wonder material at their heart. In another battery patent application filed this week, Apple gave still more clues that it is indeed working on a wristwatch-shaped device, as CEO Tim Cook hinted last week. In US patent 2013/0136967 the firm describes the precision-manufacturing techniques behind making a curved battery – including how to apply pressure for sustained periods to a flexible lithium cell to create the curve,