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Origin of rate limitations in solid-state polymer batteries from constrained segmental dynamics within the cathode

Publication Type
Journal Name
Cell Reports Physical Science
Publication Date
Page Numbers
101538 to 101538

Currently, one of the key challenges preventing the wide commercialization of polymer-based solid-state batteries is achieving high-rate capabilities. This work unravels chain structure and segmental dynamics in a polymer-based composite cathode consisting of LiFePO4 (LFP), carbon, and poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) with lithium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide. Small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) data reveal that PEO chains are adsorbed on the surface of LFP particles during slurry processing to make the composite electrode. The strong interaction between LFP and PEO chains leads to greatly reduced segmental dynamics of PEO, as discovered by quasi-elastic neutron scattering (QENS). The reduced segmental dynamics results in 70% decreased Li+ mobility of the polymer electrolyte in the composite cathode. The combined SANS and QENS study indicates that one of the key bottlenecks that limits the rate performance of PEO-based polymer batteries originates from molecular interactions within the cathode.