Research published in the latest issue of the American Chemical Society "NanoLetters" shows that Chinese scientists are expected to develop a lithium battery that is resistant to combustion and explosions. This lithium battery made of new materials is flexible, low-cost and safer.
The team of materials scientist Tao Xinyong of Zhejiang University of Technology replaced the traditional liquid electrolyte with a solid electrolyte doped with magnesium borate. This is an organic-inorganic composite material. The inorganic magnesium borate can improve the ionic conductivity and mechanical properties of the electrolyte, while the organic polymer can maintain flexibility and buffer the stress caused by the volume change of the electrode material during charging and discharging. A stable electrode interface was obtained.
Tao Xinyong said that the reason why polymer solid electrolytes have been difficult to achieve large-scale applications before is that the ionic conductivity of such electrolytes is three orders of magnitude lower than that of liquid electrolytes at room temperature. In the new solid-state electrolyte material, magnesium borate can interact with lithium salt anions to speed up the flow of lithium ions.
Tao Xinyong said that magnesium borate is also a non-polluting, low-toxicity flame retardant, which can increase the stability of the fireproof carbon layer. Traditional liquid electrolytes are usually composed of lithium hexafluorophosphate and flammable and explosive ethylene carbonate and dimethyl carbonate. Energy storage devices such as mobile phones and automobiles using liquid electrolytes have potential safety hazards of combustion and explosion.
The researchers say that the new material has improved ionic conductivity to a large extent, but it has not yet fully achieved room temperature operation and cannot be immediately industrialized, and further research is needed.