ADVERTISEMENT
2 /3 FREE ARTICLES LEFT THIS MONTH Remaining
Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.

If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.

ENJOY UNLIMITED ACCES TO C&EN

Materials

Copolymer Helps Make Flexible Li-Ion Battery Electrodes

Electrochemistry: Conductive block copolymer improves vanadium pentoxide cathodes’ mechanical and electrochemical properties

by Mitch Jacoby
October 5, 2015 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 93, ISSUE 39

In a step toward making thin, flexible batteries, researchers have hybridized a candidate for lithium-ion battery electrodes, V2O5, with a conductive polymer. Not only does that process convert the electrode material from a paperlike form that easily cracks to one that’s flexible and robust, it also improves its electrochemical properties (Sci. Rep. 2015, DOI: 10.1038/srep14166). Such an electrode material could speed development of bendable, stretchable electronics incorporated into clothing and other unconventional products. A research team led by Texas A&M University chemical engineers Hyosung An, Jared Mike, and Jodie L. Lutkenhaus used a simple water-based process to blend V2O5 with poly(3-hexylthiophene)-block-poly(ethyleneoxide), or P3HT-b-PEO, a block copolymer composed of electron- and ion-conducting units. The researchers found that adding just 5 wt % polymer led to a hybrid that’s three times as flexible and twice as tough as pure V2O5. Hybridizing also roughly doubled the lithium-ion diffusion, eliminated cracking during battery charging and discharging, and slowed the battery’s loss of capacity over time. The team attributes the enhancements to the hybrid material’s unique self-assembled structure, which consists of interlocking V2O5 layers held together by micellar aggregates of P3HT-b-PEO.

09339-scicon-V2O5Polymercxd.jpg
Credit: Sci. Rep.
Adding a small amount of a block copolymer to V2O5 converts the brittle pure material (top) to a flexible, tough hybrid (bottom).
X

Article:

This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Leave A Comment

*Required to comment