Section: Young Investigator Program

Single-Ion Gel Polymer Electrolytes for Lithium-Ion and Lithium Metal Secondary Batteries

Rachna Khurana (Coates) and Jennifer Schaefer (Archer) hope to find new materials and design rules for creating single-ion conducting polymer membranes suitable for application in lithium-ion and lithium metal batteries with improved performance and safety.

Mobile anions produced from dissociation of binary salt in traditional Li-ion electrolytes lead to ionic concentration gradients at the electrode, which induce phase changes and increase in interfacial resistance. In concert with a lithium metal anode, an ion concentration gradient can also destabilize the electrode-electrolyte interface, leading to lithium dendrite formation. Singleion conductors with sufficient Li+ conductivity have long been desired as a solution. Recent work has suggested that electrolytes containing even a fraction of immobilized anions result in enhanced cycle life. We propose the synthesis of a lithiated single-ion cross-linked polymer electrolyte membrane. The electrolytes will be characterized using physical and electrochemical measurement techniques to determine their viability for use in lithium metal and lithium-ion secondary batteries, as well as to study the fundamental effects of anion immobilization.