Crystalline polymer and 3D ceramic-polymer electrolytes for Li-ion batteries
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The research work presented in this thesis comprises a detailed investigation of conductivity mechanism in crystalline polymer electrolytes and development of a new class of ceramic-polymer composite electrolytes for Li-ion batteries. Firstly, a robust methodology for the synthesis of monodispersed poly(ethylene oxides) has been established and a series of dimethyl-protected homologues with 13, 15, 17, 28, 29, 30 ethylene oxide repeat units was prepared. The approach is based on reiterative cycles of chain extension and deprotection, followed by end-capping of the oligomeric chain ends with methyl groups. The poly(ethylene oxide) homologues show a superior level of monodispersity to previous work and were subsequently used to prepare crystalline PEO6:LiPF6 polymer electrolytes. A correlation between the number of ether oxygens in the polymer chain and the ionic conductivity of crystalline polymer electrolytes has been established. The structure and dynamics of the monodispersed complexes were studied using solid-state NMR spectroscopy for the first time. The results are in agreement with the proposed mechanism of ionic conductivity in crystalline polymer electrolytes. A new class of composite solid electrolytes for all-solid-state batteries with a lithium metal anode is reported. The composite material consists of a 3D interpenetrating network of a ceramic electrolyte, Li₁.₄Al₀.₄Ge₁.₆(PO₄)₃, and an inert polymer (polypropylene), providing continuous pathways for the ionic transport and excellent mechanical properties. 3D connectivity of this novel composite was confirmed using X-ray microtomography and AC impedance spectroscopy.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Embargo Date: 2020-04-12
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Print and electronic copy restricted until 12th April 2020
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