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Title:Microcapsule-based techniques for improving the safety of lithium-ion batteries
Author(s):Baginska, Marta
Director of Research:White, Scott R.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):White, Scott R.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Sottos, Nancy R.; Chasiotis, Ioannis; Chew, Huck Beng
Department / Program:Aerospace Engineering
Discipline:Aerospace Engineering
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Microcapsules
safety
batteries
Abstract:Lithium-ion batteries are vital energy storage devices due to their high specific energy density, lack of memory effect, and long cycle life. While they are predominantly used in small consumer electronics, new strategies for improving battery safety and lifetime are critical to the successful implementation of high-capacity, fast-charging materials required for advanced Li-ion battery applications. Currently, the presence of a volatile, combustible electrolyte and an oxidizing agent (Lithium oxide cathodes) make the Li-ion cell susceptible to fire and explosions. Thermal overheating, electrical overcharging, or mechanical damage can trigger thermal runaway, and if left unchecked, combustion of battery materials. To improve battery safety, autonomic, thermally-induced shutdown of Li-ion batteries is demonstrated by depositing thermoresponsive polymer microspheres onto battery anodes. When the internal temperature of the cell reaches a critical value, the microspheres melt and conformally coat the anode and/or separator with an ion insulating barrier, halting Li-ion transport and shutting down the cell permanently. Charge and discharge capacity is measured for Li-ion coin cells containing microsphere-coated anodes or separators as a function of capsule coverage. Scanning electron microscopy images of electrode surfaces from cells that have undergone autonomic shutdown provides evidence of melting, wetting, and re-solidification of polyethylene (PE) into the anode and polymer film formation at the anode/separator interface.As an extension of this autonomic shutdown approach, a particle-based separator capable of performing autonomic shutdown, but which reduces the shorting hazard posed by current bi- and tri-polymer commercial separators, is presented. This dual-particle separator is composed of hollow glass microspheres acting as a physical spacer between electrodes, and PE microspheres to impart autonomic shutdown functionality. An oil immersion technique is developed to simulate an overheating condition while the cell is cycling. Experimental protocols are developed to assess the performance of the separator in terms of its ability to perform autonomic shutdown and examine tested battery materials using scanning electron microscopy. Another approach to improving battery functionality is via the microencapsulation of battery additives. Currently, additives are added directly into a battery electrolyte, and while they typically perform their function given a sufficient loading, these additives often do so at the expense of battery performance. Microencapsulation allows for a high loading of additives to be incorporated into the cell and their release triggered only when and where they are needed. In this work, microencapsulation techniques are developed to successfully encapsulate 3-hexylthiophene, a stabilizing agent for high-voltage cathodes in Li-ion batteries and conductive polymer precursor, as well as the flame retardant Tris(2-choloroethyl phosphate) (TCP). Microcapsules containing 3-hexylthiophene are coated onto model battery electrodes and immersed in electrolyte. The microcapsule shell wall insulates the 3-hexylthiophene until the microcapsules are mechanically crushed and electropolymerization of the released core to form poly(3-ht) occurs under cyclic voltammetry. In addition, TCP was encapsulated using in situ polymerization. TCP-containing microcapsules are stable in electrolyte at room temperature, but are thermally triggered to release their payload at elevated temperatures. Experimental protocols are developed to study the in situ triggering and release of microencapsulated additives.
Issue Date:2014-09-16
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/50686
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 by Marta Baginska. All rights reserved.
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-09-16
Date Deposited:2014-08


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