Utilizing Conjugated Imine Polymers to Stabilize Nanoparticle Silicon Anodes

Trevor Martin, Leah Rynearson, Mackenzie Kuller, Joseph Quinn, Chongmin Wang, Brett Lucht, Nathan Neale

Research output: NRELPresentation


Silicon anodes provide a compelling route towards delivering high-capacity lithium-ion batteries, however they are notoriously difficult to stabilize in conventional liquid electrolytes that are compatible with high performance cathodes. Furthermore, the drastic changes in volume that occur as silicon is lithiated and delithiated can lead to rapid cell failure and novel polymeric binders are known to help mitigate mechanical issues. We have recently developed a novel method to synthesize the conjugated polymer phenylmethylimine (polyPMI) using an imine metathesis reaction. We have demonstrated that this polymer can be used to stabilize silicon nanoparticles to produce a composite lithium-ion battery anode that is electrochemically stable for hundreds of lithiation and delithiation cycles with a Coulombic efficiency that is greater than 99.95% in a traditional carbonate liquid electrolyte. This work covers the structure and properties of polyPMI within the context of the unique mechanical and electrochemical requirements of nanoparticle silicon anodes. The electrochemical behavior of this polymer also offers new opportunities as an organic lithium-coordinating material that can be used to stabilize a variety of other battery electrodes. More broadly, we posit that this solution-processed, ionically conductive, and electronically conductive polymer is applicable for a variety of energy storage and conversion technologies. Finally, this work demonstrates how this novel polymer chemistry provides additional opportunities for tuning electrode architecture to target high energy full cells.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages27
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NamePresented at the 244th Electrochemical Society (ECS) Meeting, 8-12 October 2023, Gothenburg, Sweden

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5900-85851


  • conjugated polymers
  • lithium ion batteries
  • mixed conductors
  • nanoparticles
  • silicon anodes


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