Solid polymer electrolytes (SPEs) for lithium batteries

Creating a polymeric alternative to state of the art liquid/gelled organic solvent electrolytes to increase battery energy density and safety

The aim of this project is to develop a SPE to replace volatile state of the art alkyl carbonate electrolytes. The principal approach leverages block and network polymer self-assembly to form ion conducting 3D structures with optimal Li-salt concentrations. These immiscible polymer systems allow decoupling of mechanical and conductive properties, facilitating the targeted materials engineering required to meet commercial performance targets.

 (A final prototype should be: inert to a metallic Li anode, conformal to electrode material, conduct at σLi > 10‑4 S/cm from 0-40 °C in a 4‑5 V window, and film forming with a modulus of  E’ > 105 Pa.)

 Our story:

Using polymers to build a better battery (2019)

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have become ubiquitous in recent years, appearing in widely used products such as mobile phones. The Adolphe Merkle Institute’s Soft Matter Physics group is investigating solid polymer electrolytes (SPEs) for use in these batteries to make them safer and more powerful.


Main investigator

Involved people