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Research Highlights

Development of Long-Life Organic Electrode Expedites Commercialization of Next-Generation Secondary

  • Writerkrissadmin5
  • Date2023-11-29 09:00
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Development of Long-Life Organic Electrode Expedites

Commercialization of Next-Generation Secondary Batteries


- KRISS-POSTECH joint research team develops a new secondary battery electrode using lightweight, flexible organic materials -

- Composite material enhances lifespan of organic electrodes, broadening their applications to secondary batteries, water electrolysis, and sensors -

 

The research team, led by Dr. Hosun Shin from the Interdisciplinary Materials Measurement Institute at the Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science (KRISS, President Hyun-min Park), and Professor Jae Yong Song’s team from the Department of Semiconductor Engineering at Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH, President Seong Keun Kim), developed a long-life organic electrode that has potential to expedite the commercialization of next-generation secondary batteries.

 

Electrodes in lithium-ion secondary batteries, commonly used in electric vehicles and other applications, are predominantly composed of inorganic materials such as nickel, cobalt, manganese, and aluminum. These mineral resources have limited reserves, and their supply can become unstable depending on the international geopolitical situation.

 

Organic-based electrodes are considered a key technology for next-generation secondary batteries, capable of addressing the aforementioned drawbacks. Organic materials can be synthesized in large quantities, offering excellent cost competitiveness compared to inorganic materials which require the mining of finite resources. Additionally, they have the advantage of being lightweight and flexible in relation to their capacity.

 

Researchers from the KRISS Smart Devices Team are conducting experiments on the fabrication of long-life organic electrodes and charge/discharge performance.

 

However, organic electrodes easily dissolve in the electrolyte solution within the battery when ionized* during charging and discharging, leading to the rapid degradation of the battery’s lifespan. To address this issue, a solution involving the chemical optimization of the structure of organic molecules was proposed. Its complicated process and low yield, however, render it impractical as an alternative.

 * Ionization: A reaction in which a neutral molecule or atom acquires an electric charge through the movement of electrons

 

 

Long-life organic electrode developed by the KRISS-POSTECH joint research team

 

The long-life organic electrode developed by the KRISS-POSTECH joint research team has significantly enhanced the lifespan of batteries using nano-composite materials. Its key advantage lies in production method; being produced by physical mixing makes it more practical for commercialization than previously proposed chemical approaches.

 

  

Flexible pouch-type secondary battery with long-life organic electrodes (left)

/ LED illumination powered by the developed organic cell (right)

 

The key to this technology is the fabrication of the nanocomposite material. Among the candidate materials for the organic electrodes, the research team chose DMPZ, a material with high energy density, and PTCDA, a material with excellent electrochemical stability. The research team carried out an experiment with this composite made by cryo-milling, and the results showed that the mutual charge transfer of the two materials helped maintain electrically neutral state. Approximately 90% of the initial capacity was retained after 650 cycles of charge and discharge, and outstanding performance was observed even during high-speed charging and discharging. On the other hand, the DMPZ-only electrode exhibited a 20% decrease in lifespan within the first five charge and discharge cycles.

 

The research team is mixing cryo-milled materials to create a long-life organic electrode material.

 

The research team is testing the charge/discharge performance of the pouch-type battery made with long-life organic electrodes.

 

Furthermore, the research team has successfully developed a pouch-type battery using the long-life organic electrode, demonstrating the potential contribution of their work to the commercialization of flexible lithium secondary batteries.

 

In addition to its application to secondary batteries, this new achievement can contribute to various fields, for example, water electrolysis and gas sensors by enhancing the electrochemical stability and lifespan of organic-based electrodes.

 

Dr. Hosun Shin, the leader of the KRISS Smart Devices Team, stated, “For a successful transition to green energy, it is crucial to drive innovation in materials to surpass the limitations of existing secondary batteries. We anticipate that our work will expedite the commercialization of next-generation secondary batteries and encourage future research on organic electrodes across various fields.”

 

Supported by the Creative Materials Discovery Program of the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) under the Ministry of Science and ICT, the results of this study have been domestically and internationally patented. It was also published in the August issue of Energy Storage Materials (IF: 20.4), an international prestigious journal.

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