Nickel-Iron batteries (invented by Thomas Edison more then 100 years ago) are very durable but suffer from very slow charge and discharge times. They are used today mostly to store power from wind and solar devices.
Now we hear that researchers from Standford University managed to increase the charge/dischage rate by nearly a 1,000 times - by adding Graphene to the Nickel-Iron mix. In fact, the batteries they developed can be fully charged in two minutes, and dischaged in less than 30 seconds.
The idea was to grow iron oxide nanocrystals on the graphene, and nanocrystals of nickel hydroxide onto carbon nanotubes. This creates strong bonds between the metal and carbon which allow the charges to move quickly between the electrodes and the external circuit.
Now the researchers face a problem - the battery is very fragile - the charge-discharge cycle isn't stable and it decays by about 20% after 800 cycles (about the same as lithium-ion batteries, but much worse than traditional Nickel-Iron batteries).