Professor Li Meicheng’s research group of North China Electric Power University: a detailed explanation of the ion conduction mechanism and improvement of polymer electrolyte!

February 17, 2023, North China Electric Power UniversityLee Mei-sungThe professor’s research group is a new journal sponsored by Tsinghua UniversityNano Research Energy Published on “Solid Polymer Electrolytes: Ion Conduction Mechanisms and Enhancement Strategies“, comprehensively introduces the structural characteristics and ion migration characteristics of polymer electrolytes, and further reveals the ion conduction mechanism.

Figure 1. Modification strategies to improve polymer electrolyte ion conduction

The polymer electrolyte hasHigh flexibility, with electrode materialsLow interface impedanceGood film-forming propertyLow costBut the low ionic conductivity seriously hinders its application in the field of solid-state batteries. To improve the ionic conductivity of polymer electrolytes, the researchers explored a range of modification strategies.

In this article, the polymer electrolyte is analyzed in detailMicrostructureandIon migration behaviorThe increase in ion conductivity is attributed to the increase in carrier concentration, mobility, and the construction of fast ion transport channels. At the same time, the latest polymer electrolyte ion conductivity modification strategies are summarized, fromThe design of the copolymer structure, the development of new lithium salts, to the additive engineering and the regulation of electrolyte morphologyA systematic combing was carried out.

For the structural design of copolymers, block, star-shaped, and grafted copolymers often have the problem of degradation of mechanical strength.Crosslinked network copolymer structureIt can take into account both ionic conductivity and mechanical properties. Design developmentThe anion radius is large, and the interaction between positive and negative ions is weakor a combination of lithium salts with different structural, electrical, thermal, and electrochemical properties can significantly improve the overall performance of polymer electrolytes.

In addition to considering from the perspective of the polymer electrolyte self-modification, it can also be considered by addingSmall organic molecules, polymer molecules, micro/nanoparticlesPromote the movement of polymer segments, increase the concentration of carriers, form a fast ion transport path, and effectively improve ion conductivity:

•With the help of polar functional groups, the interaction of anions and lithium ions, the activation energy of ion movement is greatly reduced, but special attention needs to be paid to the overall thermal stability, mechanical strength, electrode contact stability and other problems of the prepared electrolyte;

•Blending two or more polymers with good compatibility can effectively solve the crystallization problem of polymer electrolyte;

•The addition of nano filler can form a fast ion channel at the nano filler/polymer interface, effectively promoting the transport of lithium ions, but the interaction of particle size, chemical composition, surface functional group and other factors on the polymer matrix and lithium salt needs to be fully considered.

The above modification strategies have their own advantages and disadvantages, based on synergistic effects, can be effectiveCombine two or more modification strategiesSlightly increase the ionic conductivity of the polymer electrolyte.

It is worth noting thatMicrostructural characteristics (porosity and thickness)It also plays an important role in polymer electrolyte ion conduction. In recent years, several studies have confirmed rapid ion transport behavior on pore surfaces and even at polymer/polymer interfaces. Effective adjustment of the porous structure not only ensures the mechanical strength of the polymer electrolyte, but also takes into account the good contact with the electrode material, which is very important to improve the ionic conductivity of the polymer electrolyte.

Reduces polymer electrolyteThe thickness of the filmIt can improve the overall ion conduction capacity of the electrolyte and improve the overall energy density of the battery. The preparation method of new polymer electrolyte film was explored, and the mechanical properties of the electrolyte film, the contact between the electrolyte and the electrode material, and the interaction between the electrolyte pore substrate and the polymer matrix/lithium salt were fully considered, so that the organic electrolyte could be effectively applied in solid-state batteries with high safety and high energy density.

Paper Information:

Zhang D, Meng X, Hou W, et al. Solid polymer electrolytes: Ion conduction mechanisms and enhancement strategies. Nano Research Energy, 2023,


Nano Research Energy is a companion journal of Nano Research, (ISSN: 2791-0091; e-ISSN: 2790-8119; Official Website: in March 2022, Professor Qu Liangti of Tsinghua University and Professor Chunyi Zhi of City University of Hong Kong serve as editors-in-chief.Nano Research EnergyIt is an international multidisciplinary and English-based open access journal, focusing on the cutting-edge research and application of nanomaterials and nanoscience and technology in new energy-related fields, benchmarking against top international energy journals, and committed to publishing high-level original research and review papers, which has been selected2022 China Science and Technology Journals Excellence Action Plan – High Starting Point New Journal Project。 APC fees will be waived until 2025, and teachers are welcome to submit their papers.

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