It is crazy how every second you use your smartphone, there is a chemical reaction, like a baking soda volcano happening inside of it. It looks like a solid device without some moving parts, but it is true. There are a lot of types of Battery Technologies on the market, but the common ones for smartphones are; Lithium-ion and Lithium Polymer.
Inside the smartphone battery, there is a chemical reaction and it is continuously running. Without it, your phone would just be dead, which is something we all know. In this article, we will investigate Battery Technologies, especially for smartphones, how does it power your smartphone, what happens when you recharge them, and probably we are all wondering which one is the safest?
When we buy smartphones, we all want to make sure that they have long-lasting batteries. However, we only look at their battery capacities, but as we have mentioned before, there are two types of smartphone batteries, Li-ion and Li-Po. These types of batteries play a vital role in battery technologies.
What are Lithium-ion Batteries?
Lithium-ion batteries are the most used smartphone batteries. It is made of three different parts, an anode, cathode, and lithium metal. The important feature of these Li-ion batteries is that it prevents batteries from overcharging themselves.
What are Lithium-Polymer Batteries?
A Li-Po is quite an old technology. You can find Li-Po batteries in your old laptops, or bar phones. Li-Po has a similar structure to Li-ion batteries, but it is made of a gel-like material. These batteries are used in laptops because they have high capacity and are lightweight.
How do Battery Technologies Work?
All batteries have a negative and a positive terminal and supply electricity or power to our portable devices. Electricity is essentially a flow of electrons in our phones. Electrons which are negatively charged flow from the negative terminal and run things like the speakers or the display, and then end up at the positive terminal.
So, where does this power come from? The power comes from the Lithium-ion battery. Lithium is stored between layers of carbon graphite, at the negative terminal, similar to the graphite in your pencil. Graphite has a nifty crystal structure of layered planes, and it allows for the lithium to be wedged in between each of the layers.
When there is an available path from the negative terminal to the positive terminal, the electron separates from the lithium and goes to the other side. At the same time, the lithium leaves the graphite, becomes positively or +1 charged and is now called a Lithium-ion.
When a lot of lithium atoms leave the graphite at the same time and separate from their electrons to become lithium-ions. The electrons flow from the negative terminal through the components and circuits in the smartphone to join the cobalt atoms into the positive terminal. Also, the lithium-ions travel through the electrolyte in order to keep the reaction going, and neutralize the charge build-up. As this process goes on, your battery is now running on empty.
Which Battery Technologies is the Safest?
Both Li-ion and Li-Po have their own advantages, and disadvantages. Li-ion batteries have a very high-power density than Li-Po batteries. This battery is used in almost all smartphones for that reason. Also, lithium-ion lacks a memory effect, which s a phenomenon where batteries lose their optimum recharging capability.
As these batteries are free from the memory effect, you can charge your smartphone after partial discharges. There are also disadvantages to Li-ion batteries, such as their aging effect. After a certain period, Li-ion batteries lose their ability to produce maximum energy.
Li-Po batteries are more lightweight and rigid than Li-ion batteries. Li-Po batteries also have a lower chance of leaking, and cannot evade the memory effect. These batteries also cannot store high-power density in compact sizes.
Actually, both of the batteries are safe to use, because Li-ion batteries are commonly used in smartphones as it is the safest ones, and we do not actually have a choice except for Li-ion batteries.