So here's the deal - a research team headed up by Washington State chemistry professor Choong-Shik Yoo has come up with a battery design capable of condensing energy like nobody's business.
We won't pretend we fully understand what the flip is going on, but in a nutshell, the battery consists of material called xenon difluoride (XeF2), which is a white crystal mostly used to etch silicon conductors. The material is placed into two diamond anvils, where it's then pressurized. And therein lies the key - in normal circumstances, molecules in XeF2 don't come close to each other. But as they're squeezed together -- the pressure from the anvils is roughly equivalent to what you'd find halfway to the center of the Earth -- the molecules go on to form 3D metallic "network structures," pushing the mechanical energy of the compression process to be stored as chemical energy within the molecular bonds.
Yeah, we don't really follow it either, but according to Choong-Shik Yoo, this "is the most condensed form of energy storage outside of nuclear energy." Now that we can wrap our craniums around.
Where this all leads remains to be seen, but it could see use in superconductors, super-oxidizing materials, and other super applications. Sounds super to us.
Image Credit: io9.com