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Nanoscale Ion Transport Enhances Conductivity in Solid Polymer-Ceramic Lithium Electrolytes...

Publication Type
Journal Name
ACS Nano
Publication Date
Page Numbers
2750 to 2762

The predictive design of flexible and solvent-free polymer electrolytes for solid-state batteries requires an understanding of the fundamental principles governing the ion transport. In this work, we establish a correlation among the composite structures, polymer segmental dynamics, and lithium ion (Li+) transport in a ceramic-polymer composite. Elucidating this structure–property relationship will allow tailoring of the Li+ conductivity by optimizing the macroscopic electrochemical stability of the electrolyte. The ion dissociation from the slow polymer segmental dynamics was found to be enhanced by controlling the morphology and functionality of the polymer/ceramic interface. The chemical structure of the Li+ salt in the composite electrolyte was correlated with the size of the ionic cluster domains, the conductivity mechanism, and the electrochemical stability of the electrolyte. Polyethylene oxide (PEO) filled with lithium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide (LiTFSI) or lithium bis(fluorosulfonyl) imide (LiFSI) salts was used as a matrix. A garnet electrolyte, aluminum substituted lithium lanthanum zirconium oxide (Al-LLZO) with a planar geometry, was used for the ceramic nanoparticle moieties. The dynamics of the strongly bound and highly mobile Li+ were investigated using dielectric relaxation spectroscopy. The incorporation of the Al-LLZO platelets increased the number density of more mobile Li+. The structure of the nanoscale ion-agglomeration was investigated by small-angle X-ray scattering, while molecular dynamics (MD) simulation studies were conducted to obtain the fundamental mechanism of the decorrelation of the Li+ in the LiTFSI and LiFSI salts from the long PEO chain.