Preparation and characterization of nanofibrous cellulose as solid polymer electrolyte for lithium-ion battery applications
A novel bacterial cellulose (BC)-based nanofiber material has been utilized as an ionic template for the battery system solid polymer electrolyte (SPE). The effect of drying techniques such as oven and freeze-drying on the gel-like material indicate differences in both visual and porous structures. The morphological structure of BC after oven and freeze-drying observed by field-emission scanning electron microscopy indicates that a more compact porous structure is found in freeze-dried BC than oven-dried BC. After the BC-based nanofiber immersion process into lithium hexafluorophosphate solution (1.0 M), the porous structure becomes a host for Li-ions, demonstrated by significant interactions between Li-ions from the salt and the CO groups of freeze-dried BC as shown in the infrared spectra. X-ray diffraction analysis of freeze-dried BC after immersion in electrolyte solution shows a lower degree of crystallinity, thus allowing an increase in Li-ion movement. As a result, freeze-dried BC has a better ionic conductivity of 2.71 × 10−2 S cm−1 than oven-dried BC, 6.00 × 10−3 S cm−1. Freeze-dried BC as SPE also shows a larger electrochemical stability window around 3.5 V, reversible oxidation/reduction peaks at 3.29/3.64 V, and an initial capacity of 18 mAHr g−1 at 0.2C. The high tensile strength of the freeze-dried BC membrane of 334 MPa with thermal stability up to 250 °C indicates the potential usage of freeze-dried BC as flexible SPE to dampen ionic leakage transfer.