UNIST to engineer next-generation smart separator membranes

August 25, 2016

A team of Korean researchers, affiliated with UNIST is receiving the media spotlight as they have proposed a green material strategy for the development of smart battery separators beyond the current state-of-the-art counterparts.

The findings appear in the July 6th issue of Nano Letters, co-authored by Prof. Sang-Young Lee (School of Energy and Chemical Engineering), Prof. Byeong-Su Kim (School of Natural Science), the lead authors of the study Jung-Hwan Kim (School of Energy and Chemical Engineering) and Minsu Gu (School of Energy and Chemical Engineering), and four others.

In the study, the research team presented a new class of battery seperator based on the hierarchical/asymmetric porous structure of the heterolayered nanomat ("c-mat separator"), as an unprecedented membrane opportunity to enable remarkable advances in cell performance far beyond those accessible with conventional battery separators.

Among major battery components, separator membranes have not been the center of attention compared to other electrochemically active materials, despite their important roles in allowing ionic flow and preventing electrical contact between electrodes. This study introduces novel chemical functionalities to seperator membranes, thereby bringing unprecedented benefits to battery performance.

The c-mat separator consisted of a thin nanoporous TPY-CNF mat as the top layer and a thick macroporous electrospun PVP/PAN mat as the support layer. According to the research team, in addition to the aforementioned structural uniqueness, another salient feature of the c-mat separator is the higher ion conductivity compared with the existing PP/PE/PP separators.

"This ground-breaking discovery will pave the way towards next generation lithium-ion batteries, exhibiting significantly enhanced performance and increased energy efficiency," says JungHwan Kim, the lead author on the study.

The research team noted, "We envision that the c-mat separator, benefiting from its structural uniqueness and chemical functionalities, will open a new path for the development of high-performance smart separator membranes for potential use in next-generation power sources and in permselective membrane filtration systems for high mass flux/removal of heavy-metal ions."
-end-
This work has been supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Korean Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP). It has been also supported by the Industrial Technology Innovation Program 2015, funded by the Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE).

Journal Reference:

Jung-Hwan Kim, Minsu Gu, Do Hyun Lee, Jeong-Hoon Kim, Yeon-Su Oh, Sa Hoon Min, Byeong-Su Kim, and Sang-Young Lee, "Functionalized Nanocellulose-Integrated Heterolayered Nanomats toward Smart Battery Separators." Nano Lett., (2016).

Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology(UNIST)

Related Chemical Engineering Articles from Brightsurf:

Re-engineering antibodies for COVID-19
Catholic University of America researcher uses 'in silico' analysis to fast-track passive immunity

Next frontier in bacterial engineering
A new technique overcomes a serious hurdle in the field of bacterial design and engineering.

COVID-19 and the role of tissue engineering
Tissue engineering has a unique set of tools and technologies for developing preventive strategies, diagnostics, and treatments that can play an important role during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Engineering the meniscus
Damage to the meniscus is common, but there remains an unmet need for improved restorative therapies that can overcome poor healing in the avascular regions.

Artificially engineering the intestine
Short bowel syndrome is a debilitating condition with few treatment options, and these treatments have limited efficacy.

Scientists use molecular tethers, chemical 'light sabers' for tissue engineering
Researchers at the University of Washington unveiled a new strategy to keep proteins intact and functional in synthetic biomaterials for tissue engineering.

Breakthrough in blood vessel engineering
Growing functional blood vessel networks is no easy task. Previously, other groups have made networks that span millimeters in size.

Next-gen batteries possible with new engineering approach
Dramatically longer-lasting, faster-charging and safer lithium metal batteries may be possible, according to Penn State research, recently published in Nature Energy.

A new way to do metabolic engineering
University of Illinois researchers have created a novel metabolic engineering method that combines transcriptional activation, transcriptional interference, and gene deletion, and executes them simultaneously, making the process faster and easier.

Engineering on a blue streak
A pair of engineers at the University of Delaware has developed a process to form interwoven polymer networks more easily, quickly and sustainably than traditional methods allow.

Read More: Chemical Engineering News and Chemical Engineering Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.