There's no shortage of attempts to build a better battery, usually with a few caveats. USC may have ticked all the right checkboxes with its latest discovery, however. Its use of porous, flexible silicon nanowires for the anodes in a lithium-ion battery delivers the high capacity, fast recharging and low costs that come with silicon, but without the fragility of earlier attempts relying on simpler silicon plates. In practice, the battery could deliver the best of all worlds. Triple the capacity of today's batteries? Full recharges in 10 minutes? More than 2,000 charging cycles? Check. It all sounds a bit fantastical, but USC does see real-world use on the horizon. Researchers estimate that there should be products with silicon-equipped lithium-ion packs inside of two to three years, which isn't long to wait if the invention saves us from constantly hunting for the nearest wall outlet.