Clemson University

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Investigating Ion-transport

and Thermal Safety in Functional Polymer Separators

As the global demand for energy generation and storage grows, many novel systems are being introduced as potential solutions to the energy problem that are cost-effective, efficient, and above all, safe to use. Particularly in electrochemical systems, such as batteries and supercapacitors, thermally-responsive polymers have been suggested to be used as “smart materials” as a protective measure in case of thermal runaway and overheating. Since aqueous electrolytes are not applicable to most electrochemical systems, most prominently lithium-ion (Li-ion), ionic liquids (IL) will be researched instead, as IL-polymer electrolytes will be easier to adapt Li-ion systems. Additionally, ILs have negligible vapor pressure, are nonflammable, and are thermally and electrochemically stable, making them ideal candidates for improved safety in Li-ion systems. Above all, these systems must demonstrate reversible characteristics such that upon cooling the battery returns to its original performance and conductivity. Many different thermally-responsive polymers will be created and tested in ILs to determine whether a change in conductivity is observed as the temperature of the system changes.


  • Investigating Ion-transport
    Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Clemson University
    Clemson, South Carolina 29634
    United States
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  • Last UpdatedNovember 12, 2017 2:59am EST