The design of a multifunctional separator regulating the lithium ion flux for advanced lithium-ion batteries†
Herein, we design a controllable approach for preparing multifunctional polybenzimidazole porous membranes with superior fire-resistance, excellent thermo-stability, and high wettability. Specifically, the recyclable imidazole is firstly utilized as the eco-friendly template for micropores formation, which is an interesting finding and has tremendous potential for low-cost industrial production. The unique backbone structure of the as-prepared polybenzimidazole porous membrane endows the separator with superb thermal dimensional stability at 300 °C. Most significantly, the inherent flame retardancy of polybenzimidazole can ensure the high security of lithium-ion batteries, and the existence of polar groups of imidazole can regulate the Li+ flux and improve the ionic conductivity of lithium ions. Notably, the cell with a polybenzimidazole porous membrane presents higher capability (131.7 mA h g−1) than that of a commercial Celgard membrane (95.4 mA h g−1) at higher charge–discharge density (5C), and it can work normally at 120 °C. The fascinating comprehensive properties of the polybenzimidazole porous membrane with excellent thermal-stability, satisfying wettability, superb flame retardancy and good electrochemical performance indicate its promising application for high-safety and high-performance lithium-ion batteries.