Published on Monday August 26, 2013
Professor Christopher Li has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation for "Tuning Ion Conducting Pathways Using Holographic Polymerization."
The budget for the three-year project is $375,000 (CMMI-1334067).
Lithium-ion batteries are the systems of choice for portable electronic devices because they offer high-energy density, flexible and lightweight design, and long lifespan. If lithium metal is used to form lithium-metal batteries, even higher power densities can be achieved. This system isn’t currently viable, however, because the liquid electrolytes used can lead to explosion hazards. In order to achieve safe operation for lithium-metal batteries, mechanically strong polymer electrolyte membranes with good room temperature ionic conductivity are needed. This grant provides funding for development of a novel nanomanufacturing process, i.e. holographic polymerization, to fabricate such membranes. If successful, this project will lead to a library of unprecedented polymer electrolyte membranes that enable safe operation of lithium-metal batteries.