Researchers at Deakin University in Victoria have made a further breakthrough in the development of a greener, safer and cheaper energy storage alternative to lithium-ion batteries, via new polymer electrolyte chemistries.
The team from Deakin’s Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM) used computer modelling and simulations to design a new type of solid-state polymer electrolyte and gauge its potential use in various types of solid-state batteries.
The research, published in the journal Nature Materials, explains that by using polymer as the ion conductor – rather than the flammable liquid solvents currently used in lithium-ion batteries – it is also safer and less expensive.
Lead researcher Dr Fangfang Chen said the team used a computer-to-lab material design strategy to find the the best compositions for polymer electrolytes.
“This work has been devoted to developing new polymer electrolyte chemistries that can be used with high-energy metals that are more abundant and less expensive than lithium, such as sodium and potassium.