Ionic Liquid Softened Polymer Electrolyte for Anti-Drying Flexible Zinc Ion Batteries

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27287-27293
Journal / PublicationACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Issue number23
Online published6 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2022


Using solid polymer electrolytes has been proven to be an efficient strategy to address the metal dendrites and pursuing high-voltage performance. Polyethylene oxide (PEO), as a popular polymer matrix, hardly works for zinc ion batteries due to its poor zinc ionic conductivity and the poor interfacial adhesion. Here, an ionic liquid, 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium trifluoromethanesulfonate ([Emim]OTF), was applied as a plasticizer to tune the room-temperature ionic conductivity and mechanical properties of PEO membrane electrolyte. Additional nanofillers ZnO were utilized to enhance the plasticity and modulus. With an optimized composition, the membrane exhibits a high modulus and soft mechanics, which can facilitate the reversible stripping/plating of Zn without formation of Zn dendrites. The optimized polymer electrolyte achieved an ionic conductivity of 2.3 x 10-3 S cm-1 at room temperature with a softness of 5.1 mm. By applying the resulted soft membrane electrolyte for a Zn-MnO2 battery, a capacity of 137 mAh g-1 is achieved at 30 mA g-1 even without the contribution from H+. Such an electrolyte also works for Prussian blue analogue cathodes. Importantly, the addition of [Emim]OTF can enhance the soft contact with the electrodes, and a stable output is delivered under severe deformations for the assembled flexible devices.

Research Area(s)

  • polyethylene oxide, solid polymer electrolyte, softness, flexible zinc ion battery, anti-drying