Scientists believe they have invented a new battery that could fully charge a smartphone in just one minute.
The researchers have created an aluminium battery which they hope could replace the lithium models commonly found in laptops and mobile phones.
A team lead by chemistry professor Hongjie Dai, at Stanford University in California, made a breakthrough by accidentally discovering that graphite made a good partner to aluminium, Stanford said in a statement.
In a prototype, aluminium was used to make the negatively-charged anode while graphite provided material for the positively charged cathode.
As well as the "unprecedented charging times" of their aluminium prototype, the team said it was also safer than lithium-ion batteries as it was less prone to catching fire and more environmentally friendly than alkaline models such as AA and AAA.
Publishing the findings in the journal Nature, Professor Dai hailed it as a breakthrough in battery technology that went further than previous attempts using aluminium.
"We have developed a rechargeable aluminium battery that may replace existing storage devices, such as alkaline batteries, which are bad for the environment, and lithium-ion batteries, which occasionally burst into flames," he said.
"Our new battery won't catch fire, even if you drill through it.
"Millions of consumers use 1.5-volt AA and AAA batteries. Our rechargeable aluminium battery generates about two volts of electricity. That's higher than anyone has achieved with aluminium."
The prototype was said to be more durable, withstanding more than 7500 cycles without any loss of capacity and surpassing previous aluminium batteries which died after just 100 charge-discharge cycles, while a typical lithium-ion battery lasts about 1000 cycles.
- PA / AAP / Reuters