Researchers from the University of Alberta and the University of Toronto have created a proof-of-concept for a ‘futuristic’ quantum battery that doesn’t ever leak charge.
The battery doesn’t exist as of yet, but if the team manages to find a way to develop it, it could end up as one of the most groundbreaking innovations in energy storage.
Quantum Battery Created in a ‘Dark State’
A quantum battery is a small, nano-size battery designed to be utilized for apps on the nano level of things. The batteries we commonly know, such as the lithium-ion battery that powers smartphones, depend on classical electrochemistry, but the quantum battery depends only on quantum mechanics.
University of Alberta chemist Gabriel Hanna, also the principal investigator on the study, said that this research offers a hypothetical demonstration that putting together a loss-free quantum battery is possible. This type of battery would also provide a clear advantage over earlier theorized quantum batteries.
He explained that the quantum batteries may become a crucial element in numerous quantum devices, as they would be able to power quantum computers, for instance; in practice, they could be manufactured using current semiconductive technologies.
To put their idea into practice, the team of scientists took into consideration an open quantum model with high structural symmetry as a platform for placing excitonic energy, which is energy harnessed when an electron takes in an energetically enough photon of light.
Utilizing this type of model, the team demonstrated that it is not impossible to store energy without any leak, in spite of being open to an environment. This is due to the fact that the battery is prepared inside a ‘dark state.’
“The key is to prepare this quantum network in what is called a dark state,” explained Hanna. “While in a dark state, the network cannot exchange energy with its environment. In essence, the system becomes immune to all environmental influences. This means that the battery is highly robust to energy losses.”
Using Large Charge
With this model, the researchers also proposed an overall technique of discharging the stored energy from the battery at call. This implicates the break of the structured symmetry of the array in a controlled manner.
Following research will determine feasible methods of charging and discharging the battery, as well as techniques of developing it for use in real-world applications.
The research, named “Loss-Free Excitonic Quantum Battery,” was published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry C.