Functionalized Nanocellulose-Integrated Heterolayered Nanomats toward Smart Battery Separators

Alternative materials obtained from natural resources have recently garnered considerable attention as an innovative solution to bring unprecedented advances in various energy storage systems. Here, we present a new class of heterolayered nanomat-based hierarchical/asymmetric porous membrane with synergistically coupled chemical activity as a nanocellulose-mediated green material strategy to develop smart battery separator membranes far beyond their current state-of-the-art counterparts. This membrane consists of a terpyridine (TPY)-functionalized cellulose nanofibril (CNF) nanoporous thin mat as the top layer and an electrospun polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)/polyacrylonitrile (PAN) macroporous thick mat as the support layer. The hierarchical/asymmetric porous structure of the heterolayered nanomat is rationally designed with consideration of the trade-off between leakage current and ion transport rate. The TPY (to chelate Mn2+ ions) and PVP (to capture hydrofluoric acid)-mediated chemical functionalities bring a synergistic coupling in suppressing Mn2+-induced adverse effects, eventually enabling a substantial improvement in the high-temperature cycling performance of cells.