Thanks to emerging nanotechnology techniques, scientists are achieving amazing advances in lithium technologies — creating even more potential for the metal's future uses. "Research in nanotechnology, the understanding and control of matter at dimensions of roughly 1 to 100 nanometers, has advanced lithium-ion battery technology and further improvements are probable.
By altering the nanostructures of the lithium-ion battery’s anode and cathode, researchers have been able to increase battery capacity, output power, lifespan, and stability, while decreasing the time required to charge the battery (Harrop, 2008). Used in power tools, nanotechnology has enabled lithium-ion batteries to provide power surges of up to 10 times that of conventional lithium-ion battery (Bullis, 2008).
In hybrid vehicles, power surges from the lithium-ion battery enable the vehicles to accelerate faster than other batteries of the same size (Pontin, 2007). A promising new technology, the lithium metal-air battery, may be capable of delivering 10 times more energy density than today’s best lithium-ion technology, effectively offering the same energy density as gasoline. Development of lithium metal-air battery technology was expected to take between 5 and 10 years (Luoma, 2009)."— USGS Minerals Yearbook