Sustainable, Dendrite Free Lithium-Metal Electrode Cycling Achieved with Polymer Composite Electrolytes Based on a Poly(Ionic Liquid) Host

Gaetan M.A. Girard, Xiaoen Wang, Ruhamah Yunis, Douglas R. MacFarlane, Aninda J. Bhattacharyya, Maria Forsyth, Patrick C. Howlett

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36 Citations (Scopus)


Polymer composite solid-state electrolyte materials based on ionic liquids stand out as viable alternatives to flammable liquid electrolytes for solid state lithium-metal batteries. They offer a compromise between favourable mechanical properties and stability against Li-metal, coupled with favourable ion transport. However, insufficient Li+ transport properties for practical battery operation may result from the higher mobility of other ionic species from the ionic liquid (IL). Here, this issue was addressed by confining a highly concentrated IL electrolyte in a poly(ionic liquid) matrix with the addition of 5 wt % of alumina nanoparticles; these superconcentrated IL electrolytes favour Li+ ion transport. The composites are based on a poly(diallyldimethylammonium) bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide (PDADMA NTf2) matrix, and an electrolyte solution (ES) of high lithium concentration phosphonium IL, trimethyl(isobutyl)phosphonium bis(fluorosulfonyl)imide (P111i4FSI), with 3.8 mol kg−1 (3.8 m) LiFSI. The impact of ES content within the composite on Li+ transference number and electrochemical stability against Li-metal is reported. For the 50 wt % ES and 50 wt % of PDADMA NTf2 composite, up to 0.5 mAh cm−2 of Li-metal plating/stripping for over 20 days at 50 °C is shown. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) confirmed that no Li dendrite formation was visible at the Li-metal/polymer composite interface. Competitive performance of LiFePO4 electrodes (1.2 mAh cm−2) is also reported.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-239
Number of pages11
JournalBatteries & Supercaps
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • ion transport
  • lithium-metal
  • phosphonium ionic liquids
  • polymer composite

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