APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Rechargeable batteries for portable electronics as well as small and large electric vehicles
- Grid-scale storage for home or power station
- Improves battery performance by improving ionic conductivity and other transport properties, through blending chemically different polymers
- Potentially reduces overall battery manufacturing cost by eliminating the use of expensive solvents
Mixtures of miscible organic liquids are currently used in lithium-ion batteries. However, these liquids are flammable and present a significant safety concern. Polymers have been a primary focus in developing safe and rechargeable batteries, as they are inherently less flammable. Their stability against lithium metal anodes also provides the potential to improve the energy density of batteries. However, all previous work on polymer electrolytes is based on a single conducting polymer such as poly(ethylene oxide); no previous studies have clearly demonstrated the possibility of creating electrolytes from miscible polymers. This limitation has posed a significant challenge for the development of the next generation of batteries with high performing electrochemical stability and superior ionic conductivity at room temperature. It also prevents the kind of optimization that has been done in the field of liquid electrolytes.
This invention presents the first example of a polymer blend electrolyte comprising two miscible polymers to overcome the current single polymer limitation in battery development. It opens the door to the creation of polymer electrolytes comprising mixtures of more than one chemically distinct polymers along with a lithium salt. These chemical components are miscible by many techniques that are similar to neutron scattering, for use in both fully organic electrolytes and organic-inorganic composites.
The invention provides a clearer path towards the next generation of higher performance and safer rechargeable battery solutions with solid polymer electrolytes.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Proven principle
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Miscible Polyether/Poly(ether–acetal) Electrolyte Blends , Kevin W. Gao, Whitney S. Loo, Rachel L. Snyder, Brooks A. Abel, Youngwoo Choo, Andrew Lee, Susana C. M. Teixeira, Bruce A. Garetz, Geoffrey W. Coates, and Nitash P. Balsara Macromolecules 2020 53 (14), 5728-5739 DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.0c00747
STATUS: Patent pending
OPPORTUNITIES: Available for licensing or collaborative research.