In lithium battery electrodes, the leaf-like technique not only improved the charging and discharging processes that affect battery life, but reduced the stress on the electrodes themselves. Your battery would both wring more out of a charge (up to 25 times more capacity), charge faster and have a longer usable lifespan. The same approach boosted the performance of a gas sensor and a photocatalysis process that broke down a dye using light.
As with most battery-related breakthroughs, there’s one overriding question: how to translate this to a shipping product. Zinc oxide isn’t an exotic substance, but you’d still need a way to mass-produce nanoparticle networks. The technology holds a lot of promise, but it could be a long while before your phone is a longevity champion.