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Open Access Original paper

Polystyrene-Al2O3 composite solid polymer electrolyte for lithium secondary battery

Yu-Jeong Lim, Yu-Ha An and Nam-Ju Jo*

Author Affiliations

Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Pusan National University, Jangjeon-dong, Geumjeong-gu, Busan, 609-735, South Korea

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:19  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-19

Published: 5 January 2012

Abstract

In a common salt-in-polymer electrolyte, a polymer which has polar groups in the molecular chain is necessary because the polar groups dissolve lithium salt and coordinate cations. Based on the above point of view, polystyrene [PS] that has nonpolar groups is not suitable for the polymer matrix. However, in this PS-based composite polymer-in-salt system, the transport of cations is not by segmental motion but by ion-hopping through a lithium percolation path made of high content lithium salt. Moreover, Al2O3 can dissolve salt, instead of polar groups of polymer matrix, by the Lewis acid-base interactions between the surface group of Al2O3 and salt. Notably, the maximum enhancement of ionic conductivity is found in acidic Al2O3 compared with neutral and basic Al2O3 arising from the increase of free ion fraction by dissociation of salt. It was revealed that PS-Al2O3 composite solid polymer electrolyte containing 70 wt.% salt and 10 wt.% acidic Al2O3 showed the highest ionic conductivity of 9.78 × 10-5 Scm-1 at room temperature.

Keywords:
polystyrene; Al2O3; solid polymer electrolyte; polymer-in-salt system; lithium secondary battery