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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2018 Jul 5;10(26):22210-22217. doi: 10.1021/acsami.8b05215. Epub 2018 Jun 21.

Flexible/Rechargeable Zn-Air Batteries Based on Multifunctional Heteronanomat Architecture.

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Department of Energy Engineering, School of Energy and Chemical Engineering , Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) , Ulsan 44919 , Korea.
KIER-UNIST Advanced Center for Energy, Korea Institute for Energy Research , Ulsan 44919 , Korea.
Division of Energy & Optical Technology Convergence , Cheongju University , Cheongju 28503 , Korea.


The increasing demand for advanced rechargeable batteries spurs development of new power sources beyond currently most widespread lithium-ion batteries. Here, we demonstrate a new class of flexible/rechargeable zinc (Zn)-air batteries based on multifunctional heteronanomat architecture as a scalable/versatile strategy to address this issue. In contrast to conventional electrodes that are mostly prepared by slurry-casting techniques, heteronanomat (denoted as "HM") framework-supported electrodes are fabricated through one-pot concurrent electrospraying (for electrode powders/single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs)) and electrospinning (for polyetherimide (PEI) nanofibers) process. Zn powders (in anodes) and rambutan-shaped cobalt oxide (Co3O4)/multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) composite powders (in cathodes) are used as electrode active materials for proof of concept. The Zn (or Co3O4/MWCNT) powders are densely packed and spatially bound by the all-fibrous HM frameworks that consist of PEI nanofibers (for structural stability)/SWCNTs (for electrical conduction) networks, leading to the formation of three-dimensional bicontinuous ion/electron transport channels in the electrodes. The HM electrodes are assembled with cross-linked polyvinyl alcohol/polyvinyl acrylic acid gel polymer electrolytes (acting as zincate ion crossover-suppressing, permselective separator membranes). Benefiting from its unique structure and chemical functionalities, the HM-structured Zn-air cell significantly improves mechanical flexibility and electrochemical rechargeability, which are difficult to achieve with conventional Zn-air battery technologies.


Zn−air batteries; electrochemical rechargeability; electrospinning/electrospraying; heteronanomat electrode structure; mechanical flexibility


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