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Separators and electrolytes for rechargeable batteries: Fundamentals and perspectives

Tina Nestler
  • Corresponding author
  • TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Institute of Experimental Physics, Leipziger Str. 23, 09599 Freiberg, Germany
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  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Elsa Roedern
  • Materials for Energy Conversion, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa), Überlandstrasse 129, 8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland
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  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Nikolai F. Uvarov
  • Institute of Solid State Chemistry and Mechanochemistry Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Kutateladze 18, 630128 Novosibirsk, Russia
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/ Juliane Hanzig / Giuseppe Antonio Elia / Mateo de Vivanco
Published Online: 2018-10-13 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/psr-2017-0115


Separators and electrolytes provide electronic blockage and ion permeability between the electrodes in electrochemical cells. Nowadays, their performance and cost is often even more crucial to the commercial use of common and future electrochemical cells than the chosen electrode materials. Hence, at the present, many efforts are directed towards finding safe and reliable solid electrolytes or liquid electrolyte/separator combinations. With this comprehensive review, the reader is provided with recent approaches on this field and the fundamental knowledge that can be helpful to understand and push forward the developments of new electrolytes for rechargeable batteries. After presenting different types of separators as well as the main hurdles that are associated with them, this work focuses on promising material classes and concepts for next-generation batteries. First, chemical and crystallographic concepts and models for the description and improvement of the ionic conductivity of bulk and composite solid electrolytes are outlined. To demonstrate recent perspectives, research highlights have been included in this work: magnesium borohydride-based complexes for solid-state Mg batteries as well as all-in-one rechargeable SrTiO3 single-crystal energy storage. Furthermore, ionic liquids pose a promising safe alternative for future battery cells. An overview on their basic principles and use is given, demonstrating their applicability for Li-ion systems as well as for so-called post-Li chemistries, such as Mg- and Al-ion batteries.

Keywords: solid electrolytes; ionic liquids; Mg-ion battery; Al-ion battery; solid electrolyte–electrode interface; separators


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Published Online: 2018-10-13

TN, JH, and MdV are grateful for financial support of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (CryPhysConcept (03EK3029A) and R2RBattery (03SF0542A)). Furthermore, ER thanks the Swiss National Science Foundation for financial support within the Sinergia project ‘Novel ionic conductors’ (CRSII2_160749/1).

Citation Information: Physical Sciences Reviews, Volume 4, Issue 4, 20170115, ISSN (Online) 2365-659X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/psr-2017-0115.

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