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Lithium Polymer Electrolytes and Solid State NMRResearch is being done at the Glenn Research Center (GRC) developing new kinds of batteries that do not depend on a solution. Currently, batteries use liquid electrolytes containing lithium. Problems with the liquid electrolyte are (1) solvents used can leak out of the battery, so larger, more restrictive, packages have to be made, inhibiting the diversity of application and decreasing the power density; (2) the liquid is incompatible with the lithium metal anode, so alternative, less efficient, anodes are required. The Materials Department at GRC has been working to synthesize polymer electrolytes that can replace the liquid electrolytes. The advantages are that polymer electrolytes do not have the potential to leak so they can be used for a variety of tasks, small or large, including in the space rover or in space suits. The polymers generated by Dr. Mary Ann Meador's group are in the form of rod -coil structures. The rod aspect gives the polymer structural integrity, while the coil makes it flexible. Lithium ions are used in these polymers because of their high mobility. The coils have repeating units of oxygen which stabilize the positive lithium by donating electron density. This aids in the movement of the lithium within the polymer, which contributes to higher conductivity. In addition to conductivity testing, these polymers are characterized using DSC, TGA, FTIR, and solid state NMR. Solid state NMR is used in classifying materials that are not soluble in solvents, such as polymers. The NMR spins the sample at a magic angle (54.7') allowing the significant peaks to emerge. Although solid state NMR is a helpful technique in determining bonding, the process of preparing the sample and tuning it properly are intricate jobs that require patience; especially since each run takes about six hours. The NMR allows for the advancement of polymer synthesis by showing if the expected results were achieved. Using the NMR, in addition to looking at polymers, allows for participation on a variety of other projects, including aero-gels and carbon graphite mat en als. The goals of the polymer electrolyte research are to improve the physical properties of the polymers. This includes improving conductivity, durability, and expanding the temperature range over which it is effective. Currently, good conductivity is only present at high temperatures. My goals are to experiment with different arrangements of rods and coils to achieve these desirable properties. Some of my experiments include changing the number of repeat units in the polymer, the size of the diamines, and the types of coil. Analysis of these new polymers indicates improvement in some properties, such as lower glass transition temperature; however, they are not as flexible as desired. With further research we hope to produce polymers that encompass all of these properties to a high degree.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Berkeley, Emily R. (Johns Hopkins Univ. MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Publication Information
Publication: Research Symposium II
Subject Category
Electronics and Electrical Engineering
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle20050186580Analytic PrimaryResearch Symposium II