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Adv Mater. 2017 Jul;29(28). doi: 10.1002/adma.201605898. Epub 2017 Jun 6.

Bioinspired Ultrastrong Solid Electrolytes with Fast Proton Conduction along 2D Channels.

He G1,2, Xu M1,2, Zhao J1,2, Jiang S3, Wang S1,2, Li Z1,2, He X1,2, Huang T1,2, Cao M1, Wu H1,2, Guiver MD2,4, Jiang Z1,2.

Author information

Key Laboratory for Green Chemical Technology of Ministry of Education, School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Tianjin University, Tianjin, 300072, China.
Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemical Science and Engineering (Tianjin), Tianjin, 300072, China.
School of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, 30332, USA.
State Key Laboratory of Engines, School of Mechanical Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin, 300072, China.


Solid electrolytes have attracted much attention due to their great prospects in a number of energy- and environment-related applications including fuel cells. Fast ion transport and superior mechanical properties of solid electrolytes are both of critical significance for these devices to operate with high efficiency and long-term stability. To address a common tradeoff relationship between ionic conductivity and mechanical properties, electrolyte membranes with proton-conducting 2D channels and nacre-inspired architecture are reported. An unprecedented combination of high proton conductivity (326 mS cm-1 at 80 °C) and superior mechanical properties (tensile strength of 250 MPa) are achieved due to the integration of exceptionally continuous 2D channels and nacre-inspired brick-and-mortar architecture into one materials system. Moreover, the membrane exhibits higher power density than Nafion 212 membrane, but with a comparative weight of only ≈0.1, indicating potential savings in system weight and cost. Considering the extraordinary properties and independent tunability of ion conduction and mechanical properties, this bioinspired approach may pave the way for the design of next-generation high-performance solid electrolytes with nacre-like architecture.


2D channels; graphene composite; nacre structures; proton conduction; solid electrolyte membranes

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