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Gel composite electrolyte – an effective way to utilize ceramic fillers in lithium batteries...

Publication Type
Journal Name
Journal of Materials Chemistry A
Publication Date
Page Numbers
6555 to 6566

Achieving synergy between ion-conducting polymers and ceramics in a composite electrolyte has been proven to be difficult as the complicated ceramic/polymer interface presents challenges to understand and control. In this work, we report a strategy to utilize discrete ceramic fillers to form a gel composite electrolyte with enhanced transport properties for lithium metal batteries. The matrix of the composite membrane is crosslinked poly(ethylene oxide) with bis(trifluoromethane)sulfonimide lithium salt (LiTFSI). The membrane is plasticized with tetraethylene glycol dimethyl ether (TEGDME). The incorporation of doped-lithium aluminum titanium phosphate particles (LICGC™) into the membrane greatly improves the membrane's cycling characteristics against the lithium electrode, exhibiting lower interfacial impedance, lower overpotential and higher rate capability. The underpinnings of the superior performance of the gel composite electrolyte are discussed in depth. LICGC™ can immobilize the TFSI− anions in the polymer matrix and simultaneously promote Li+ transport by increasing the plasticizer to Li+ ratio. Further, the transport enhancement is achieved without sacrificing mechanical properties. The composite membrane shows significantly improved handleability and processability. This work sheds light on the design strategy for a safe electrolyte towards stable Li metal batteries.