An Adhesive Vinyl-Acrylic Electrolyte and Electrode Binder for Lithium Batteries

by Binh Tran

Institution: University of Central Florida
Degree: PhD
Year: 2013
Keywords: Dissertations, Academic  – Sciences; Sciences  – Dissertations, Academic; Aqueous process; soluble; adhesive; electrolyte; binder; lithium batteries
Record ID: 2022901
Full text PDF: http://digital.library.ucf.edu/cdm/ref/collection/ETD/id/5711


This dissertation describes a new vinyl-acrylic copolymer that displays great potential for applications in lithium ion batteries by enabling novel, faster, safer and cost-effective processes. Understanding the chemistry of materials and processes related to battery manufacturing allows the design of techniques and methods that can ultimately improve the performance of existing batteries while reducing the cost. The first and second parts of this dissertation focuses on the free radical polymerization of poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate (PEGMA), methyl methacrylate (MMA), and isobutyl vinyl ether (IBVE) monomers to afford a vinyl-acrylic poly(PEGMA-co-MME-co-IBVE) random copolymer and the investigation of its properties as a soluble, amorphous, and adhesive electrolyte that is able to permanently hold 800 times its own weight. Such material properties envision a printable battery manufacturing procedure, since existing electrolytes lack adhesion at a single macromolecular level. Electrolytes can also be used as an electrode binder so long as it has structural integrity and allows ion transfer to and from the active electrode material during insertion/extraction processes. In the third section, the use of this electrolyte as a water-soluble binder for the aqueous fabrication of LiCoO2 cathodes is presented. Results of this study demonstrated the first aqueous process fabrication of thick, flexible, and fully compressed lithium ion battery electrodes by using commercial nickel foam as a supporting current collector. This feat is rather impressive because these properties are far superior to other aqueous binders in terms of material loading per electrode, specific area capacity, durability, and cell resistance. Finally, the fourth section expands on this concept by using the poly(PEGMA-co-MMA-co-IBVE) copolymer for the aqueous fabrication of a low voltage Li4Ti5O12 anode type electrode. Altogether, results demonstrate as a proof of concept that switching the current toxic manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries to an aqueous process is highly feasible. Furthermore, new electrode manufacturing techniques are also deemed possible.