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Superior Conductive Solid-like Electrolytes: Nanoconfining Liquids Within the Hollow Structures

Publication Type
Journal Name
Nano Letters
Publication Date
Page Numbers
3398 to 3402

The growth and proliferation of lithium (Li) dendrites during cell recharge is unavoidable, which seriously hinders the development and application of rechargeable Li metal batteries. Solid electrolytes with robust mechanical modulus are regarded as a promising approach to overcome the dendrite problems. However, their room-temperature ionic conductivities are usually too low to reach the level required for normal battery operation. Here, a class of novel solid electrolytes with liquid-like room-temperature ionic conductivities (> 1 mS cm-1) has been successfully synthesized by taking advantage of the unique nanoarchitectures of hollow silica (HS) spheres to confine liquid electrolytes in hollow space to afford high conductivities. In a symmetric lithium/lithium cell, such kind of solid-like electrolytes demonstrates a robust performance against Li dendrite problems, well stabilizing the cell system from short circuiting in a long-time operation at current densities ranging from 0.16 to 0.32 mA cm-2. Moreover, the high flexibility and compatibility of HS nanoarchitectures, in principle, enables broad tunability to choose desired liquids for the fabrication of other kinds of solid-like electrolytes, such as those containing Na+, Mg2+ or Al3+ as conductive media, providing a useful alternative strategy for the development of next generation rechargeable batteries.