Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation
Mechanical Engineering, PhD
Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)
Lithium argyrodite; synthesis; solid electrolytes; halide dopant; solid state battery; lithium anode
The commercialization of the lithium-ion battery (LIB) in 1991 was responsible for the explosion in portable electronic technologies that has been seen over the past 30 years. With the advent of electric vehicles and other high-powered technologies, there is tremendous demand for LIBs with higher energy density and high safety. To achieve this, new electrode materials must be explored. The obvious choice of anode material would be pure metal lithium, which has a theoretical specific capacity of 3860 mAh g-1 . Unfortunately, metal lithium anodes have not been widely commercialized due to their tendency to react violently with the flammable liquid electrolytes used in today’s batteries. Battery safety can best be achieved by adopting solid electrolytes in place of liquid electrolytes. Solid electrolytes are nonvolatile and nonflammable, safely allowing for the combination of high-capacity cathode materials with a Li metal anode. Argyrodite sulfide solid electrolytes such as halogen-doped Li6PS5X (X = Cl, Br, I) are noted for their high ionic conductivity. But before sulfides can be commercially adopted, they possess several disadvantages which must be addressed, including time- and energy-consuming synthesis processes, poor electrochemical stability, and intrinsically poor air stability. This dissertation seeks to address each of these challenges through materials design an synthesis strategies. In this work, we pioneer a solvent-based approach for the synthesis of argyrodite solid electrolytes Li7PS6 and Li6PS5Xinstead of a stringent solid-state synthesis. Nontoxic ethanol is employed as the solvent, enabling a rapid synthetic approach to produce argyrodite solid electrolytes with high phase purity and compositional flexibility. Compared with Li7PS6, halogen doping (i.e. X = F, Cl, Br, I) not only increases the ionic conductivity, but also enhances the electrochemical stability at the interface towards Li metal. Specifically, F-doped argyrodites produce a robust SEI layer containing LiF, contributing to enhanced interfacial stability. Finally, to address the air instability challenge, argyrodite-incorporated composite solid electrolytes (CSEs) are designed and prepared to produce stable and flexible membranes that are demonstrated in solid-state Li metal batteries. These advances push argyrodite sulfide solid electrolyte research further and pave the way for the proliferation of next generation lithium metal batteries.
Arnold, William, "Wet chemical synthesis and properties of argyrodite sulfide solid electrolytes for solid state lithium batteries." (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 4014.