Researchers at Stanford have developed nanowire electrodes that help batteries hold more charge.

An excerpt from TechnologyReview:

The development, reported in the scientific journal Nature Materials, stems from the labs of nanowire innovator Yi Cui and battery expert Robert Huggins at Stanford’s Materials Science and Engineering Department. The researchers show that nanowires of silicon just a few atoms across can function as high-capacity electrodes, absorbing and releasing about 10 times more lithium ions than the graphite electrodes that are commonly used today.

Researchers showed that silicon nanowires can be used to store more charge more safely than graphite, which is presently used in lithium batteries. However, supplying enough charge is another problem to be solved.

While the article talks from the perspective of vehicle batteries, here’s hoping that the fruits of the research comes to portable electronic devices as well.