"Ultralight and fire-extinguishing current collectors for high-energy and high-safety lithium-ion batteries"

Yusheng Ye: Lien-Yang Chou, Yayuan Liu, Hansen Wang, Hiang Kwee Lee, Wenxiao Huang, Jiayu Wan, Kai Liu, Guangmin Zhou, Yufei Yang, Ankun Yang, Xin Xiao, Xin Gao, David Thomas Boyle, Hao Chen, Wenbo Zhang, Sang Cheol Kim & Yi Cui ; Nature Energy, 10/15/20.

Additional Authors: Lien-Yang Chou, Yayuan Liu, Hansen Wang, Hiang Kwee Lee, Wenxiao Huang, Jiayu Wan, Kai Liu, Guangmin Zhou, Yufei Yang, Ankun Yang, Xin Xiao, Xin Gao, David Thomas Boyle, Hao Chen, Wenbo Zhang, Sang Cheol Kim & Yi Cui

Abstract:

Inactive components and safety hazards are two critical challenges in realizing high-energy lithium-ion batteries. Metal foil current collectors with high density are typically an integrated part of lithium-ion batteries yet deliver no capacity. Meanwhile, high-energy batteries can entail increased fire safety issues. Here we report a composite current collector design that simultaneously minimizes the ‘dead weight’ within the cell and improves fire safety. An ultralight polyimide-based current collector (9 μm thick, specific mass 1.54 mg cm−2) is prepared by sandwiching a polyimide embedded with triphenyl phosphate flame retardant between two superthin Cu layers (~500 nm). Compared to lithium-ion batteries assembled with the thinnest commercial metal foil current collectors (~6 µm), batteries equipped with our composite current collectors can realize a 16–26% improvement in specific energy and rapidly self-extinguish fires under extreme conditions such as short circuits and thermal runaway.