By Andy Rosen Globe Staff, February 08, 2018
Researchers have spent billions of dollars over decades trying to build a better battery, one that can store lots of energy and recharge thousands of times without breaking down or bursting into flames.
Now, one Woburn startup believes it has a product that can do all that — and take a bullet, to boot. Ionic Materials makes a solid polymer material used in the guts of a battery that it says is safer and longer-lasting than current technology, while durable enough to keep working even after being damaged by something as extreme as gunshots or a hammer.
Batteries today have key shortfalls: Alkaline batteries are relatively safe but can’t be recharged repeatedly; lithium-ion batteries — the ones that power cell phones and other devices — can take many recharges. But they are dangerous when damaged or defective, as Samsung was forced to recall millions of its Galaxy Note 7 phones after batteries in some of them burst into flames.