A research team from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (U of I) has developed a new type of solid electrolyte that can boost the overall durability and conductivity of lithium batteries and solve the battery's overheating problems.
Overheating has long been a problem of lithium batteries, as it is known to create dendrites which can penetrate the insulation layer of the battery and cause explosions. The electrolytes of a traditional lithium battery is usually made of salt and organic solvent, which is susceptible to fire.
According to the research team, their solid electrolyte is made of polymer and is not as brittle as the other types of materials that are in development. It is also capable of self-recovering after being damaged. The new electrolyte features polymer with cross linkage, instead of linear polymer, which allows it to become even tougher and more conductive upon being heated and lessens the problem of dendrite formations.
As it is water soluble, the research team’s newly developed electrolyte material will have a very minimal impact on the environment.
The study’s findings and testings can be found in the "Journal of the American Chemical Society."
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