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Practical Considerations for Testing Polymer Electrolytes for High-Energy Solid-State Batteries

  • Ritu Sahore*
    Ritu Sahore
    Electrification and Energy Infrastructures Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 1 Bethel Valley Road, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, United States
    *[email protected]
    More by Ritu Sahore
  • Zhijia Du
    Zhijia Du
    Electrification and Energy Infrastructures Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 1 Bethel Valley Road, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, United States
    More by Zhijia Du
  • Xi Chelsea Chen
    Xi Chelsea Chen
    Chemical Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 1 Bethel Valley Road, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, United States
  • W. Blake Hawley
    W. Blake Hawley
    Electrification and Energy Infrastructures Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 1 Bethel Valley Road, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, United States
    Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education, University of Tennessee, 821 Volunteer Boulevard, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996, United States
  • Andrew S. Westover*
    Andrew S. Westover
    Chemical Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 1 Bethel Valley Road, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, United States
    *[email protected]
  • , and 
  • Nancy J. Dudney
    Nancy J. Dudney
    Chemical Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 1 Bethel Valley Road, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, United States
Cite this: ACS Energy Lett. 2021, 6, 6, 2240–2247
Publication Date (Web):May 24, 2021
https://doi.org/10.1021/acsenergylett.1c00810
Copyright © 2021 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract

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    Polymer electrolytes are an important class of materials in enabling solid-state batteries, which have the potential to exceed 400 Wh/kg energy density. Despite significant advancements in their lithium-ion transport and mechanical properties over the last two decades, the integration and testing of these novel electrolyte materials into functioning cells with the electrode loadings and dimensions required to meet the cell-level energy density goals have been limited. Here, through multiple representative examples, we demonstrate the need of testing in close to practical cell conditions for a faster and more reliable evaluation of polymeric electrolytes. In particular, the need for testing with thin lithium anodes and practical cycling capacities is demonstrated for evaluation of their lithium-metal interfacial stability and dendritic resistance, respectively, and a testing protocol is suggested. The guidelines presented here will also apply to testing of other solid electrolytes for solid-state batteries.

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    The Supporting Information is available free of charge at https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsenergylett.1c00810.

    • Experimental details of lithium deposition via thermal evaporation, preparation of polymer electrolytes, electrochemical testing; cross-section SEM of thin Li; post-mortem evaluation of Li-metal cell with gel-polymer electrolyte; additional symmetric-cell cycling results of the two polymer electrolytes as a function of strip/plate capacity; cell-level energy density calculations and discussion; voltage noise (shorting) as a function of cell configuration and cathode loading; adjusting coin-cell stack pressure by varying the number of stainless-steel (SS) spacers (PDF)

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