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Thin Solid Electrolyte Layers Enabled by Nanoscopic Polymer Binding

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journal contribution
posted on 03.03.2020, 20:47 authored by Yejing Li, Xuefeng Wang, Hongyao Zhou, Xing Xing, Abhik Banerjee, John Holoubek, Haodong Liu, Ying Shirley Meng, Ping Liu
To achieve high-energy all-solid-state batteries (ASSBs), solid-state electrolytes (SE) must be thin, mechanically robust, and possess the ability to form low resistance interfaces with electrode materials. Embedding an inorganic SE into an organic polymer combines the merits of high conductivity and flexibility. However, the performance of such an SE-in-polymer matrix (SEPM) is highly dependent on the microstructure and interactions between the organic and inorganic components. We report on the synthesis of a free-standing, ultrathin (60 μm) SEPM from a solution of lithium polysulfide, phosphorus sulfide, and ethylene sulfide (ES), where the polysulfide triggers the in situ polymerization of ES and the formation of Li3PS4. Reactant ratios were optimized to achieve a room-temperature conductivity of 2 × 10–5 S cm–1. Cryogenic electron microscopy confirmed a uniform nanoscopic distribution of β-Li3PS4 and PES (polyethylene sulfide). This work presents a facile route to the scalable fabrication of ASSBs with promising cycling performance and low electrolyte loading.