Side-Chain Conducting and Phase-Separated Polymeric Binders for High-Performance Silicon Anodes in Lithium-Ion Batteries
Here we describe a class of electric-conducting polymers that conduct electrons via the side chain π–π stacking. These polymers can be designed and synthesized with different chemical moieties to perform different functions, extremely suitable as a conductive polymer binder for lithium battery electrodes. A class of methacrylate polymers based on a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon side moiety, pyrene, was synthesized and applied as an electrode binder to fabricate a silicon (Si) electrode. The electron mobilities for PPy and PPyE are characterized as 1.9 × 10–4 and 8.5 × 10–4 cm2 V–1 s–1, respectively. These electric conductive polymeric binders can maintain the electrode mechanical integrity and Si interface stability over a thousand cycles of charge and discharge. The as-assembled batteries exhibit a high capacity and excellent rate performance due to the self-assembled solid-state nanostructures of the conductive polymer binders. These pyrene-based methacrylate binders also enhance the stability of the solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) of a Si electrode over long-term cycling. The physical properties of this polymer are further tailored by incorporating ethylene oxide moieties at the side chains to enhance the adhesion and adjust swelling to improve the stability of the high loading Si electrode.