, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 1841-1848

Optimising organic ionic plastic crystal electrolyte for all solid-state and higher than ambient temperature lithium batteries

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Organic ionic plastic crystal (OIPC) electrolytes are among the key enabling materials for solid-state and higher than ambient temperature lithium batteries. This work overviews some of the parameter studies on the Li|OIPC interface using lithium symmetrical cells as well as the optimisation and performance of Li|OIPC|LiFePO4 cells. The effects of temperature and electrolyte thickness on the cycle performance of the lithium symmetrical cell, particularly with respect to the interfacial and bulk resistances, are demonstrated. Whilst temperature change substantially alters both the interfacial and bulk resistance, changing the electrolyte thickness predominantly changes the bulk resistance only. In addition, an upper limit of the current density is demonstrated, above which irreversible processes related to electrolyte decomposition take place. Here, we demonstrate an excellent discharge capacity attained on LiFePO4|10 mol% LiNTf2-doped [C2mpyr][NTf2]|Li cell, reaching 126 mAh g-1 at 50 °C (when the electrolyte is in its solid form) and 153 mAh g-1 at 80 °C (when the electrolyte is in its liquid form). Most remarkably, at high temperature operation, the capacity retention at long cycles and high current is excellent with only a slight (3%) drop in discharge capacity upon increasing the current from 0.2 C to 0.5 C. These results highlight the real prospects for developing a lithium battery with high temperature performance that easily surpasses that achievable with even the best contemporary lithium-ion technology.