(6hu) Synthetic Polymeric Materials for Energy Storage and Gas Separation

Cao, P., Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Sokolov, A., Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Saito, T., Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Research Interests:

Synthesis of polymers with unconventional
architectures and unique properties towards both fundamental studies and
various applications including energy storage, gas-separation, and flexible

Research areas includes:

Mechanical interlocked block
copolymers: synthesis the “mechanically interlocked” block copolymers, and
study this “topology” effect on their physical properties for fundamental
studies and potential applications.

Single-ion conducting polymer
electrolyte: develop a series of synthetic SLiPE with
low interfacial impedance, enhanced mechanical property and high ionic
conductivity for a safe lithium-ion battery.

High-performance polymer binder
for high capacity anode materials: develop the polymeric materials that have
both adhesion capacity with active materials (Si for Li-ion battery, P for
sodium-ion battery) and mechanically robustness.

self-healing polymer materials: develop intrinsic self-healing polymer elastomer with good stretchability, high mechanical strength, faster
self-healing kinetics and recyclability.          

Teaching Interests:

on my previous training in Department of Chemistry and Department of
Macromolecular Science and Engineering, I am able to
teach core courses such as: Polymer Chemistry, Polymer Engineering/Physics Environmental

 Based on my previous and current research
work, I find teaching Polymers for Energy storage, Nanomedicine development and
Oil-gas Industry will also be very interesting: Polymer for Energy Storage, Application
of Polymers in Oil-gas industry, Polymer for Drug Delivery, Stimulus-responsive

I should be flexible for the course work topics, and I am willing to teach
other related topics during any semesters.

Poster Abstract:

Synthetic Polymeric Materials for Energy Storage and
Gas Separation

Cao,a Alexei Sokolova,b and Tomonori Saitoa

a Chemical
Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory,

b Department
of Chemistry, University of Tennessee

Rechargeable lithium ion battery (LIB) has become one of the
most successful energy storage devices. Unfortunately, LIBs with common
electrolyte still have various problems, such as flammability, toxicity and
non-uniform lithium deposition that eventually cause the failure of the cell. Single-ion
conducting polymer electrolytes (SCPEs) are well recognized for increased
energy efficiency and prolonged cell lifetime due to their capability to
mitigate electrode polarization and lower electrolyte loss. Herein, we propose
a versatile approach on the fabrication of a molecular-level stretchable
functional material via rational
polymer design (Figure A): covalent attachment of the functional molecules as
the side groups (but main component) of intrinsically stretchable polymer
network will result the polymeric materials with defined functionality and
well-tunable mechanically property. Despite the numerous reports on the solid-
or gel- form SCPEs for lithium-ion(metal) battery applications, fabrication of
SCPE based materials with mechanically stretchable has never been achieved. The
achievement will definitely benefit the future
stretchable batteries/electronics considering the advantageous electrolyte
performance of the SCPE based systems. Moreover, the molecular-level design of
intrinsically stretchable polymer is also suitable for other functional polymer

Self-healable polymer elastomers with tunable
mechanical properties are especially attractive for a variety of applications. Herein,
we report a series of urea functionalized poly(dimethyl
siloxane)-based elastomers (U-PDMS-Es) with extremely high stretchability,
self-healing mechanical properties and recoverable gas-separation performance
(Figure B). Tailoring the molecular weights of PDMS or weight ratio of elastic
cross-linker offers tunable mechanical properties of the obtained U-PDMS-Es,
such as ultimate elongation (from 984 to 5,600%), Young’s modulus, ultimate tensile
strength, toughness and elastic recovery. The U-PDMS-Es can serve as excellent
acoustic and vibration damping materials over a broad range of temperature
(over 100 °C). The strain dependent elastic recovery behavior of U-PDMS-Es was
also studied. After mechanical damage, the U-PDMS-Es can be healed in 120 mins
at ambient temperature or in 20 mins at 40 °C with completely restored
mechanical performance. The U-PDMS-Es were also demonstrated to exhibit
recoverable gas-separation functionality with retained permeability/selectivity
after being damaged.