January 23, 2022

New rubber electrolyte will make batteries last longer and safer

New rubber electrolyte will make batteries last longer and safer

Researchers have developed a new highly conductive rubber material that is a promising alternative to liquid and solid electrolytes.

Elastomers or synthetic rubbers are usedin a variety of consumer products and devices due to its good mechanical strength. However, they are also known for their insulating properties, so they are not usually associated with energy transmission or storage. However, now a team from the Georgia Institute of Technology has introduced an elastomeric electrolyte with a unique structure acting as a highway for ions.

Scientists solved the problem of charge transfer usinga strong three-dimensional rubber matrix, which acts as a frame, with conductive crystals of a plastic material (succinonitrile) embedded inside. The developed structure has excellent strength, high ionic conductivity and electrochemical stability. Unlike liquid and solid-state electrolytes, the proposed version is not afraid of mechanical damage and does not overheat, and also adheres tightly to the electrodes.

For the production of rubber electrolyteA simple low temperature polymerization process was used to create strong and smooth interfaces on its surface. The unique features of the material prevent dendritic growth and cause rapid ion movement to ensure reliable battery performance.

During testing, lithium metal batteriesthe new electrolyte worked stably at 4.5 V at room temperature, with a capacity of 93 mAh/g. Their high efficiency was maintained even after 1000 cycles.

The researchers are currently working on improving the material's conductivity to reduce charging times and increasing the specific energy density.

Another alternative could be a newly developed magnesium-based paste that can store 10 times more energy than a conventional battery.

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