Tuning the properties of a UV-polymerized, cross-linked solid polymer electrolyte for lithium batteries

Sutton, Preston and Airoldi, Martino and Porcarelli, Luca and Olmedo-Martínez, Jorge L. and Mugemana, Clément and Bruns, Nico and Mecerreyes, David and Steiner, Ullrich and Gunkel, Ilja (2020) Tuning the properties of a UV-polymerized, cross-linked solid polymer electrolyte for lithium batteries. Polymers, 12 (3). 595. ISSN 2073-4360

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    Abstract

    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.