The development and implementation of high power batteries for electrical energy storage has exposed significant needs in next-generation electrolytes that ensure their safe and efficient operation. Electrolytes with high lithium ion transference numbers (tLi+), through which the ionic current is principally carried by lithium cations, have attracted significant attention in the development of advanced battery electrolytes. However, clear molecular design criteria for such electrochemically stable materials are scarce.
Ellison and Mahanthappa will investigate the synthesis and characterization of polymeric lithium salts with controlled molecular architectures, derived from polymerizations of self-assembled lithiated amphiphiles. This synthetic strategy will furnish access to model ionic materials for studies of polymer structure-conductivity relationships as solvated electrolytes. These studies will provide specific insights into how polymer structure, diffusivity, and interfacial activity affects tLi+ and the electrochemical stabilities of these electrolytes for future battery applications.
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