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New electrolyte could power all solid-state batteries.

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New electrolyte could power all solid-state batteries.

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In a recent study, a non-ceramic solid-state electrolyte based on a polyethylene oxide-filled graphene oxide aerogel framework was developed.

 Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries play a key role in electric vehicles due to their outstanding energy density, high performance and minimal self-discharge.

On the other hand, Li-ion batteries contain flammable liquid electrolytic materials, which may pose significant safety concerns and limit their widespread application.

Solid-state electrolytes (SSEs) replace standard organic liquid electrolytes and are designed to reduce battery safety issues such as leakage, overheating and even explosion during operation.

In some current SSEs, multiphase solid electrolyte composites have greater freedom to accommodate and integrate the advantages of synthetic ceramic electrolytes and natural polymer-based electrolytes. These alternatives are seen as encouraging options for industrial solid-state lithium-ion batteries.

For example, nonflammable gels are produced by hydrogen bonding or other means and used as interlayers to improve the efficiency of SSE cells.

New electrolyte could power all solid-state batteries.

Polyethylene oxide (PEO)-based polymer electrolytes are among the most well-studied SSEs due to their light weight, flexibility, and excellent manufacturability. In addition, PEO has a certain degree of crystalline helical structure, and its oxyethylene component has strong solubility in alkali metal salts.

Although increasing heat increases the proportion of disordered phases, higher operating temperatures can cause semi-melting or melting of the polymer electrolyte layer during charge and discharge cycles, which may lead to perforation by lithium dendrites.

Several approaches have been taken to resolve the conflict between ionic conductivity and lithium dendrites. One approach is to use fillers or plasticizers, such as nanoscale SiO2, cationic liquids, and micrografted graphene oxide, which can reduce the concentration of PEO crystal domains while increasing unbound ethylene oxide (EO) sections.

However, due to aggregation, some nanometer-sized materials often reduce the acid-base bonding between them and lithium salts.

Due to the excessive pursuit of ionic conductivity, this technique reduces the ability of the electrolyte to suppress dendrites. Another thing that can be done is to adjust the frame of the electrolyte.

To improve the ion deposition on the electrode surface, a simple approach is to use a multilayer structure, such as two or three layers, and choose electrolytes with different interfacial properties.

On the other hand, multilayering increases the thickness of the electrolyte and affects the ionic conductivity. Also, building interior design is critical, as changing the architecture is a great way to address the solid electrolyte problem.

Although the electrolytic deposition behavior of lithium is an important aspect, little research has been done to date on its homogenization.

Graphene oxide has a high concentration of oxygen-carrying functional groups, which has a strong affinity for lithium ions and promotes the dissolution of lithium salts.

In the ion conduction mechanism, the network structure has two main roles. First, the extensive GO network within the membrane helps to make the ionic current distribution more consistent, prevent the linear development of Li dendrites, and prolong battery life.

Second, as a miniature inorganic additive, GO can to some extent perturb the distribution of ordered crystalline domains in PEO, improve ionic conduction, and allow for routine battery evaluation.

GO is now cheaper and easier to manufacture, and can be easily blended with other materials and polymers to improve properties such as tensile strength.

The highly porous network structure of the graphene oxide aerogel/PEO composite electrolyte GSPE developed in this study leads to remarkable lithium ion conduction.

The GO structure improves the unstructured composition of the electrolyte, promotes the dissolution of lithium salts, and enhances the interaction between lithium ions and unbound segments.

The built-in LFP|GSPE|Li battery maintains about 94% capacity after 100 cycles and can run continuously for more than 450 hours.

The research team found that GSPE has excellent homogenization ability for lithium deposition, successfully reducing the battery short circuit caused by lithium dendrites. The development concept of this multilayer network structure is critical not only for SSE electrolytes, but also for future iterations of Li-ion batteries with higher energy density and better safety compliance.

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New electrolyte could power all solid-state batteries.
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