Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Fluorine-free water-in-ionomer electrolytes for sustainable lithium-ion batteries.

  • Author(s): He, Xin;
  • Yan, Bo;
  • Zhang, Xin;
  • Liu, Zigeng;
  • Bresser, Dominic;
  • Wang, Jun;
  • Wang, Rui;
  • Cao, Xia;
  • Su, Yixi;
  • Jia, Hao;
  • Grey, Clare P;
  • Frielinghaus, Henrich;
  • Truhlar, Donald G;
  • Winter, Martin;
  • Li, Jie;
  • Paillard, Elie
  • et al.

The continuously increasing number and size of lithium-based batteries developed for large-scale applications raise serious environmental concerns. Herein, we address the issues related to electrolyte toxicity and safety by proposing a "water-in-ionomer" type of electrolyte which replaces organic solvents by water and expensive and toxic fluorinated lithium salts by a non-fluorinated, inexpensive and non-toxic superabsorbing ionomer, lithium polyacrylate. Interestingly, the electrochemical stability window of this electrolyte is extended greatly, even for high water contents. Particularly, the gel with 50 wt% ionomer exhibits an electrochemical stability window of 2.6 V vs. platinum and a conductivity of 6.5 mS cm-1 at 20 °C. Structural investigations suggest that the electrolytes locally self-organize and most likely switch local structures with the change of water content, leading to a 50% gel with good conductivity and elastic properties. A LiTi2(PO4)3/LiMn2O4 lithium-ion cell incorporating this electrolyte provided an average discharge voltage > 1.5 V and a specific energy of 77 Wh kg-1, while for an alternative cell chemistry, i.e., TiO2/LiMn2O4, a further enhanced average output voltage of 2.1 V and an initial specific energy of 124.2 Wh kg-1 are achieved.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View