Ionomer-Liquid Electrolyte Hybrid Ionic Conductor for High Cycling Stability of Lithium Metal Electrodes

Sci Rep. 2015 Sep 28;5:14458. doi: 10.1038/srep14458.

Abstract

The inhomogeneous Li electrodeposition of lithium metal electrode has been a major impediment to the realization of rechargeable lithium metal batteries. Although single ion conducting ionomers can induce more homogeneous Li electrodeposition by preventing Li(+) depletion at Li surface, currently available materials do not allow room-temperature operation due to their low room temperature conductivities. In the paper, we report that a highly conductive ionomer/liquid electrolyte hybrid layer tightly laminated on Li metal electrode can realize stable Li electrodeposition at high current densities up to 10 mA cm(-2) and permit room-temperature operation of corresponding Li metal batteries with low polarizations. The hybrid layer is fabricated by laminating few micron-thick Nafion layer on Li metal electrode followed by soaking 1 M LiPF6 EC/DEC (1/1) electrolyte. The Li/Li symmetric cell with the hybrid layer stably operates at a high current density of 10 mA cm(-2) for more than 2000 h, which corresponds to more than five-fold enhancement compared with bare Li metal electrode. Also, the prototype Li/LiCoO2 battery with the hybrid layer offers cycling stability more than 350 cycles. These results demonstrate that the hybrid strategy successfully combines the advantages of bi-ionic liquid electrolyte (fast Li(+) transport) and single ionic ionomer (prevention of Li(+) depletion).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't