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Title: Highly Flexible Self-Assembled V2O5 Cathodes Enabled by Conducting Diblock Copolymers

Mechanically robust battery electrodes are desired for applications in wearable devices, flexible displays, and structural energy and power. In this regard, the challenge is to balance mechanical and electrochemical properties in materials that are inherently brittle. Here, we demonstrate a unique water-based self-assembly approach that incorporates a diblock copolymer bearing electron- and ion-conducting blocks, poly(3-hexylthiophene)-block-poly(ethyleneoxide) (P3HT-b-PEO), with V2O5 to form a flexible, tough, carbon-free hybrid battery cathode. V2O5 is a promising lithium intercalation material, but it remains limited by its poor conductivity and mechanical properties. Our approach leads to a unique electrode structure consisting of interlocking V2O5 layers glued together with micellar aggregates of P3HT-b-PEO, which results in robust mechanical properties, far exceeding the those obtained from conventional fluoropolymer binders. Only 5 wt % polymer is required to triple the flexibility of V2O5, and electrodes comprised of 10 wt % polymer have unusually high toughness (293 kJ/m3) and specific energy (530 Wh/kg), both higher than reduced graphene oxide paper electrodes. Furthermore, addition of P3HT-b-PEO enhances lithium-ion diffusion, eliminates cracking during cycling, and boosts cyclability relative to V2O5 alone. These results highlight the importance of tradeoffs between mechanical and electrochemical performance, where polymer content can be used to tune both aspects.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. Texas A & M Univ., College Station, TX (United States)
  2. Rice Univ., Houston, TX (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1216454
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-06CH11357
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 5; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 25 ENERGY STORAGE