SmArt Composite Membranes for Lithium-Metal-Polymer BattERiEs

This PhD subject lays at the crossroad of chemical synthesis and physics under nanometric confinement. We propose an original way to allow the use of lithium metal batteries at room temperature. This objective will be achieved by combining three effects: i) the nanometric confinement of an electrolyte in composite “smart” membranes based on vertically aligned carbon NanoTubes (CNT), ii) the use of ionic liquids charged with lithium salts as electrolytes and iii) one-dimensional ionic conduction. The ionic conductivity through the CNT will be driven by two characteristic distances: the CNT pore diameter (1-4 nm) and the total CNT length (from 10 to 500 µm). Rational modeling of the transport properties over distances differing by orders of magnitude naturally calls for a multiscale approach. Therefore, as for its fundamental Science aspect, our primary goal is to develop a multi-scale approach to bridge the broad time and spatial scales (eight orders of magnitude) relevant to the high-mobility-in-tight-1D-spaces we are seeking. A crucial point to deliver a proof of concept assembly of a 1D CNT-based lithium battery separator, is the grafting of short polymer chains on one side of the CNT membrane (to overcome the electrical conductive character of the CNTs). Depending on the physico-chemical conditions on one side of the membrane (pH, temperature), one can expect drastic changes in the conformation of the CNT-tips-grafted-polymer layer: from extended to mushroom conformation. Therefore, beyond the present project, such smart membranes could be used in the future as “nano-valves” able to gate the flow between different media.

Multiscale transport properties, carbon nanotubes membranes, polymer electrolyte, ionic liquids, batteries

Partenaires du projet

BERROD Quentin
ICR (UMR5819) Grenoble France
Gigmes Didier
ICR (UMR7273) France
Zanotti Jean-Marc
IRAMIS / LLB (UMR12) France
Benoit Homatter
Crédit photo : Benoit Homatter

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