Nowadays, portable equipment and laptops become smaller and need more energy, which lead to the need for rechargeable lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. Using lighter lithium and carbon for the electrodes, the batteries became more compact and lightweight. In addition they offer significantly improved performance over the classic rechargeable battery types.
Lithium-ion batteries often used in laptops are different from primary lithium batteries used in cameras. From it's invention in 1990 to now the lithium-ion battery has evolved as the superior power source for a majority of applications. Lithium-ion batteries have never been as popular as today, which is primarily based on the explosive growth of the consumer electronics market.
The size and weight of a battery is based on it's energy density. As designers are held to develop slim and light devices for today's markets, they make use of lithium-ion batteries with a high volumetric energy density. Industries like aerospace, automotive and defense also have applications where the high energy density of Li-ion batteries is needed.
As they have a higher operating voltage, only fewer cells need to be combined in a pack, which reduces assembly costs and improves reliability.
For various reasons these cells are so dominant in a very attractive and fast growing market. Among the many benefits are the higher energy density and higher voltage per cell, but also a great performance under low temperature, improved life cycle, simpler battery management, less self discharge, easy recharge and more less harmful parts for the environment.
The lack of the memory effect, which means they do not have to be completely discharged before they are recharged, like so many other batteries is another major advantage.
With hundreds of charge and discharge cycles these batteries stay fresh for a long time.
The fact that they can be build in different shapes and sizes allows to build them into all kinds of devices.
After hearing about all these great features, there has to be some problem, too. The only known problem is, that they can burst into flames in very rare occasions, maybe twice in a million.
There is no question that the modern li-ion batteries are the most powerful and energetic choice and are well suited for most applications.