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Membranes 2012, 2(4), 687-704; doi:10.3390/membranes2040687
Article

UV-Induced Radical Photo-Polymerization: A Smart Tool for Preparing Polymer Electrolyte Membranes for Energy Storage Devices

1,* , 1,§,* , 1
, 2
, 1
 and 1,3,*
1 Department of Applied Science and Technology - DISAT, Politecnico di Torino, C.so Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Torino, Italy 2 UMR 5518 CNRS-Grenoble-INP, Domaine Universitaire, 461 rue de la Papeterie, BP 65, 38402 St. Martin d’Hères, France 3 Center for Space Human Robotics @Polito, Italian Institute of Technology, C.so Trento 21, 10129 Torino, Italy § Present address: Center for Space Human Robotics @Polito, Italian Institute of Technology, C.so Trento 21, 10129 Torino, Italy
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 October 2012 / Accepted: 12 October 2012 / Published: 17 October 2012
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Abstract

In the present work, the preparation and characterization of quasi-solid polymer electrolyte membranes based on methacrylic monomers and oligomers, with the addition of organic plasticizers and lithium salt, are described. Noticeable improvements in the mechanical properties by reinforcement with natural cellulose hand-sheets or nanoscale microfibrillated cellulose fibers are also demonstrated. The ionic conductivity of the various prepared membranes is very high, with average values approaching 10-3 S cm-1 at ambient temperature. The electrochemical stability window is wide (anodic breakdown voltages > 4.5 V vs. Li in all the cases) along with good cyclability in lithium cells at ambient temperature. The galvanostatic cycling tests are conducted by constructing laboratory-scale lithium cells using LiFePO4 as cathode and lithium metal as anode with the selected polymer electrolyte membrane as the electrolyte separator. The results obtained demonstrate that UV induced radical photo-polymerization is a well suited method for an easy and rapid preparation of easy tunable quasi-solid polymer electrolyte membranes for energy storage devices.
Keywords: photo-polymerization; methacrylate; polymer electrolyte; cellulose hand-sheets; nanoscale microfibrillated cellulose; electrochemical characterization; lithium iron phosphate; lithium polymer battery photo-polymerization; methacrylate; polymer electrolyte; cellulose hand-sheets; nanoscale microfibrillated cellulose; electrochemical characterization; lithium iron phosphate; lithium polymer battery
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Nair, J.R.; Chiappone, A.; Destro, M.; Jabbour, L.; Meligrana, G.; Gerbaldi, C. UV-Induced Radical Photo-Polymerization: A Smart Tool for Preparing Polymer Electrolyte Membranes for Energy Storage Devices. Membranes 2012, 2, 687-704.

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