A Flexible Solid Composite Electrolyte with Vertically Aligned and Connected Ion-Conducting Nanoparticles for Lithium Batteries

Haowei Zhai, Pengyu Xu, Mingqiang Ning, Qian Cheng, Jyotirmoy Mandal, Yuan Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

395 Scopus citations

Abstract

Replacing flammable organic liquid electrolytes with solid Li-ion conductors is a promising approach to realize safe rechargeable batteries with high energy density. Composite solid electrolytes, which are comprised of a polymer matrix with ceramic Li-ion conductors dispersed inside, are attractive, since they combine the flexibility of polymer electrolytes and high ionic conductivities of ceramic electrolytes. However, the high conductivity of ceramic fillers is largely compromised by the low conductivity of the matrix, especially when nanoparticles (NPs) are used. Therefore, optimizations of the geometry of ceramic fillers are critical to further enhance the conductivity of composite electrolytes. Here we report the vertically aligned and connected Li1+xAlxTi2-x(PO4)3 (LATP) NPs in the poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) matrix to maximize the ionic conduction, while maintaining the flexibility of the composite. This vertically aligned structure can be fabricated by an ice-templating-based method, and its conductivity reaches 0.52 × 10-4 S/cm, which is 3.6 times that of the composite electrolyte with randomly dispersed LATP NPs. The composite electrolyte also shows enhanced thermal and electrochemical stability compared to the pure PEO electrolyte. This method opens a new approach to optimize ion conduction in composite solid electrolytes for next-generation rechargeable batteries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3182-3187
Number of pages6
JournalNano Letters
Volume17
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 10 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering

Keywords

  • Ice templating
  • energy storage
  • solid electrolyte
  • vertically aligned structure

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