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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2015 Jan 14;7(1):738-42. doi: 10.1021/am507145h. Epub 2014 Dec 16.

Pure inorganic separator for lithium ion batteries.

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Mechanical Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute , 100 Institute Road, Worcester, Massachusetts 01609, United States.


Battery safety is critical for many applications including portable electronics, hybrid and electric vehicles, and grid storage. For lithium ion batteries, the conventional polymer based separator is unstable at 120 °C and above. In this research, we have developed a pure aluminum oxide nanowire based separator; this separator does not contain any polymer additives or binders; additionally, it is a bendable ceramic. The physical and electrochemical properties of the separator are investigated. The separator has a pore size of about 100 nm, and it shows excellent electrochemical properties under both room and high temperatures. At room temperature, the ceramic separator shows a higher rate capability compared to the conventional Celgard 2500 separator and life cycle performance does not show any degradation. At 120 °C, the cell with the ceramic separator showed a much better cycle performance than the conventional Celgard 2500 separator. Therefore, we believe that this research is really an exciting scientific breakthrough for ceramic separators and lithium ion batteries and could be potentially used in the next generation lithium ion batteries requiring high safety and reliability.


Li-ion batteries; inorganic separator; thermostability


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