Molecular Design of a Highly Stable Single-Ion Conducting Polymer Gel Electrolyte
mediaposted on 29.05.2020, 17:35 by Kewei Liu, Sisi Jiang, Trevor L. Dzwiniel, Hong-Keun Kim, Zhou Yu, Nancy L. Dietz Rago, Jae Jin Kim, Timothy T. Fister, Jianzhong Yang, Qian Liu, James Gilbert, Lei Cheng, Venkat Srinivasan, Zhengcheng Zhang, Chen Liao
Single-ion conducting (SIC) polymer electrolytes with a high Li transference number (tLi+) have shown the capability to enable enhanced battery performance and safety by avoiding liquid–electrolyte leakage and suppressing Li dendrite formation. However, issues of insufficient ionic conductivity, low electrochemical stability, and poor polymer/electrode interfacial contact have greatly hindered their commercial use. Here, a Li-containing boron-centered fluorinated SIC polymer gel electrolyte (LiBFSIE) was rationally designed to achieve a high tLi+ and high electrochemical stability. Owing to the low dissociation energy of the boron-centered anion and Li+, the as-prepared LiBFSIE exhibited an ionic conductivity of 2 × 10–4 S/cm at 35 °C, which is exclusively contributed by Li ions owing to a high tLi+ of 0.93. Both simulation and experimental approaches were applied to investigate the ion diffusion and concentration gradient in the LiBFSIE and non-cross-linked dual-ion systems. Typical rectangular Li stripping/plating voltage profiles demonstrated the uniform Li deposition assisted by LiBFSIE. The interfacial contact and electrolyte infiltration were further optimized with an in situ UV–vis-initiated polymerization method together with the electrode materials. By virtue of the high electrochemical stability of LiBFSIE, the cells achieved a promising average Coulombic efficiency of 99.95% over 200 cycles, which is higher than that of liquid–electrolyte-based cells. No obvious capacity fading was observed, indicating the long-term stability of LiBFSIE for lithium metal batteries.