Stanford claims its latest advances in silicon nanowires have it building batteries with 10 times the capacity of existing Li-ion cells. Apparently people have been trying to stuff silicon -- which has a much higher capacity than existing materials -- into a battery for decades, but since it swells when charged with positively charged lithium and shrinks during use, the silicon has a tendency to "pulverize." Who knew batteries could be so dramatic? Oh, right
. The advancement at Stanford, led by Yi Cui, builds the battery in the form of silicon nanowires, giving the silicon room to grow and shrink without damage. A patent is being filed, and Yi Cui is already considering forming a company or licensing the tech to a manufacturer.