The new battery can be refilled to 80 percent of capacity in one minute, Toshiba claimed, significantly less time than the one-to-four hours needed for lithium-ion batteries now in use.
According to Toshiba, the secret's in the negative electrode. "Nano-particles prevent organic liquid electrolytes from reducing during battery recharging," said Toshiba in a statement. "The nano-particles quickly absorb and store vast amount of lithium ions, without causing any deterioration in the electrode."
The Japanese technology giant said that it expected to put the new batteries into play in 2006, initially in automotive and industrial applications. One use, Toshiba said, would be within hybrid vehicles, which store power generated when, for instance, the car decelerates.
Toshiba said it would move the new batteries into consumer electronics applications, such as laptops and cameras, at a later date.