Nanomaterials are all the rage in battery chemistry these days, with both A123 and Altairnano relying on the tiny particles to improve the performance of their cells. Scientists at the Argonne National Laboratory are now testing adding manganese to the typical mix of lithium, cobalt, nickel and copper and creating nanocrystals that can absorb more electrons during charging and thereby increasing the energy capacity of the battery. So far, tests have shown more than double the storage capacity when manganese is added. Unfortunately tests are showing the electrodes have some reluctance to release the electrons and although the voltage of the battery is increases slightly, it only has half the current of the conventional battery. They also haven't yet tested how many charge cycles they can get out of the new battery chemistry.
[Source: New Scientist Tech]