Tuning the Properties of a UV-Polymerized, Cross-Linked Solid Polymer Electrolyte for Lithium Batteries
P. Sutton, M. Airoldi, L. Porcarelli, J.L. Olmedo-Martinez, C. Mugemana, N. Bruns, D. Mecerreyes, U. Steiner, and I. Gunkel
Polymers, vol. 12, no. 3, art. no. 595, 2020
Lithium metal anodes have been pursued for decades as a way to significantly increase the energy density of lithium-ion batteries. However, safety risks caused by flammable liquid electrolytes and short circuits due to lithium dendrite formation during cell cycling have so far prevented the use of lithium metal in commercial batteries. Solid polymer electrolytes (SPEs) offer a potential solution if their mechanical properties and ionic conductivity can be simultaneously engineered. Here, we introduce a family of SPEs that are scalable and easy to prepare with a photopolymerization process, synthesized from amphiphilic acrylic polymer conetworks based on poly(ethylene glycol), 2-hydroxy-ethylacrylate, norbornyl acrylate, and either lithium bis (trifluoromethanesulfonyl) imide (LiTFSI) or a single-ion polymethacrylate as lithium-ion source. Several conetworks were synthesized and cycled, and their ionic conductivity, mechanical properties, and lithium transference number were characterized. A single-ion-conducting polymer electrolyte shows the best compromise between the different properties and extends the calendar life of the cell.