Samsung developing explosion-proof flexible battery

by: Bogdan PetrovanOctober 16, 2013

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 jet black battery aa 1

Incidents of batteries that catch fire, swell, or even explode happen regularly. Samsung wants to prevent them with a new type of solid-state battery that’s not only fireproof, but also flexible and resistant to mechanical shocks. Samsung SDI, the conglomerate’s battery making division, showed off the new technology at a trade show in South Korea.

The new type of battery contains a solid electrolyte, instead of the liquid electrolyte that’s found inside most Lithium-ion batteries currently on the market.

So, why are current batteries susceptible to accidents? The lithium ions that move through the liquid electrolyte when the battery is charging can cause the formation of metal deposits on the electrodes, which can lead to short-circuits. Moreover, liquid electrolytes can leak and burn, which is something that you obviously don’t want to happen inside a tightly packed piece of electronic equipment.

Solid electrolytes are more stable, don’t leak, and are not prone to the formation of metal deposits that can cause short-circuits.

Unfortunately, the new technology is not ready for primetime. Samsung still needs to find a way to make the lithium ions move through a solid electrolyte as efficiently as they move through a liquid.

Samsung SDI estimates that it will be able to create solid-state batteries that can match the energy density of conventional designs by 2015. A beneficial side effect of the solid electrolyte is that the battery can flex and bend, which makes it ideal for curved phones (hopefully some that are more advanced than the Galaxy Round) and wearable devices.

  • Failbot

    Not sure about the jab at the Galaxy Round, what was the point in it? Idiots like you made jabs like that about the Note 1, and looked like total asshats in the wake of its overwhelming success. You can stuff your biased nonsense in a sack Mr.

    • Failbot

      Why taint an otherwise informative article? Ridiculous.

      • By “more advanced that the Galaxy Round” I meant a phone that actually needs a curved or flexible battery. The Round has a regular battery, and it’s very basic when it comes to the utilization of the flexible screen.

        • Failbot

          The Samsung bashing bandwagon is just exhausting, and I am not a fanboy of any one brand of phone, but there is so much misinformation and hate on Samsung, I sometimes feel compelled to ardently defend them (and other companies as well).

          I would not have argued with a statement saying “hopefully Samsung can push the boundaries of flexible screen technology even more than that of the Galaxy Round with further innovation in future devices”, which would fit better (imho) with the tone of the article, rather than standing out.

    • Jason Yuen

      Relax dude. No need for childish name calling. As we now know, the galaxy round is not a full production device. What he means by more advanced is as in the next generation of flexible tech. Galaxy Round sports new technology and takes a while to get things working in unison.

      • Failbot

        I said people made themselves look like asshats. I did not call anyone an asshat. No childish namecalling here. The point is that the jab was unecessary, and unsubstanciated in the article. It stood out.

    • petethefish

      asshat? thats a new one lol

  • Mohammed Sahib

    We actually need a new battery tech that gives more mAh in a smaller size, rather than a flexible solid state battery. Sadly no one manufacturer seems to actually focus on it.

    • Jason Yuen

      Battery tech is one of those fields that hasn’t advanced significantly in more than a decade. The battery in your current cell phone is essentially the same as the one in your Motorola RAZR. It’s a difficult and expensive technology to advance. Luckily we are seeing other advancements in reducing power consumption to help out the issue like low power cores, bluetooth 4.0, OLED screens, etc. We see articles and research papers about super fast charging capacitor batteries and even fuel cell power sources for mobile devices but sadly none seem to be ready for mainstream use. We can stay optimistic though. The combination of electric vehicles returning to the market and demand for extended power in mobile devices lets us hope for some of these technologies to be pushed out.

      • Mohammed Sahib

        Fingers crossed.

    • RanRu

      Don’t know if you’re aware of silicon nanowire batteries, but that’s the next step. They just have to become cost effective. The Ubuntu Edge was supposedly going to have one if it was made.

      • Mohammed Sahib

        No. Actually I wasn’t aware. I will look it up. Thanks. Mobie computing, I believe, is in dire need of new battery tech.

      • john

        Greater mAh with reasonable cycle life.
        Barely retaining 80% after 300 cycles is unacceptable.

        • RanRu

          From what I remember, “flawless” examples of nanowire batteries supposedly retain a charge much longer than even conventional batteries, but its incredibly difficult and expensive to make them, well, “flawless”.

  • Evan Wickes

    A benefic side effect <–current article
    A beneficial side effect <–updated article

  • Alex Alexander

    That’s what we need more research and investment in batteries technology.

  • smokebomb

    flexible batteries, explosion proof batteries…where the fck are the efficient batteries?!

    • pierre

      I’m sure Samsung is making this battery for soldier that going to battlefield.

      They designed it to absorb High-Explosive Incendiary ammo, thus the “flexible, explosion proof” feature… lol

  • s4ph

    Does that make it intrinsically safe?

  • Guest

    I haven’t done this in a long time so… “more advanced THAT the Galaxy Round”

  • yam

    want an super efficient battery? ask Duracell to make one for mobile phones lol!

    • Failbot

      Duracell? Pfft no. Sanyo Eneloop rechargeable batteries are amazing and beat the junk out of Energizer and Duracell by a country mile. Longer lasting, better charge up rate (flashes), hold onto their charge for years, and can be recharged 5x as many times… once you try them you don’t go back.

  • William Worlde

    Way to go Samsung! Finally something useful from you.

    I actually forget my GNex at home one day getting half-way to my destination before making the discovery. I turned back because I thought I might have left the device on my bed and that even not charging it could cause a fire. (I am 99% nomophobic.)

    • Jaun Lombard


  • Ryan Castle

    Explosion-proof battery?
    Challenge accepted.

  • jasxgamer


    • simpleas

      you mean shamesung… at least spell correctly

  • mrjayviper

    how about battery that just works as intended? seems even that is a problem for Samsung who I believe make it’s work batteries?

  • RanRu

    I was hoping “explosion-proof” meant that I could strap dynamite to my phone battery. Because you’d be surprised how often that happens.

    This sounds a bit like Li-Ion Polymer batteries, which are nothing new. However, if Samsung can match the energy density of current battery tech, that would be quite impressive.

  • Blowntoaster

    So they are developing batteries that are “foolproof”…

    Good one Sammy. keep em coming…