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Publication numberUSH1462 H
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 08/153,948
Publication dateJul 4, 1995
Filing dateNov 1, 1993
Priority dateNov 1, 1993
Publication number08153948, 153948, US H1462 H, US H1462H, US-H-H1462, USH1462 H, USH1462H
InventorsCharles W. Walker, Jr.
Original AssigneeThe United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The Army
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Solid state electrochemical lithium/polymer cell
US H1462 H
A lithium electrochemical cell is provided that provides many cycles with loss in capacity. The cell contains an ion conducting solid polymer electrolyte and an electronically conductive, anion-intercalating polymer cathode.
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What is claimed is:
1. A solid state electrochemical cell including metallic lithium as an anode, (PEO)20 (LiCF3 SO3)1 (LiN[CF3 SO2 ]) as a solid polymer electrolyte and and poly (3-methylthiophene as a solid polymer cathode.
2. A solid state electrochemical cell including metallic lithium as an anode, (PEO)20 (LiCF3 SO3)1 (LiN[CF3 SO2 ]2)1 as a solid polymer electrolyte and poly 3-methylthiophene-BF4 as a solid polymer cathode.
3. A solid state electrochemical cell including metallic lithium, as an anode, PEO)20 (LiCF3 SO3)1 (LiN[CF3 SO2 ]2)1 as a solid polymer electrolyte and poly(3-methylthiophene-CF3 SO3 as solid polymer cathode.
4. A solid state electrochemical cell including metallic lithium as an anode, (PEO)20 (LICF3 SO3)1 (LiN[CF3 SO2 ]2)1 as a solid polymer electrolyte, and poly(3-methylthiophene)-N(CF3 SO2)2 as a solid polymer cathode.

The invention described herein may be manufactured, used, and licensed by or for the Government for governmental purposes without the payment to me of any royalty thereon.


The invention relates in general to lithium electrochemical cells and in particular to solid state electrochemical lithium/polymer cells that provide many cycles without a loss in capacity.


Two major areas of consideration in the development of lithium electrochemical cells are to find a liquid electrolyte that does not react with metallic lithium and to identify a lithium anion intercalating cathode as for example Lix CoO2, Lix TiS2, and Lix Mn2 O4 that provides many cycles without loss in capacity. The absence of a liquid component would reduce or eliminate corrosion of the metallic lithium anode, as well as harmful chemical reactions at the cathode.


The general object of this invention is to provide an improved lithium electrochemical cell. A more particular object of the invention is to provide such a cell that does not contain a liquid component that can cause corrosion of the metallic lithium anode as well as harmful chemical reactions at the cathode. A still further object of the invention is to provide such a lithium electrochemical cell that allows for high cycle life and good capacity retention. Another object of the invention is to provide such a lithium electrochemical cell that can be used as either a primary cell or a rechargeable cell.

It has now been found that the aforementioned objects can be attained by making a solid state lithium electrochemical cell that contains an ion conducting solid polymer electrolyte and an electronically conductive, anion intercalating polymer cathode.

Absence of a liquid component reduces or eliminates corrosion of the metallic lithium anode, as well as harmful chemical reactions at the cathode. At the cathode, anions are intercalated rather than cations, with anion-doped polymer being electrically conductive, and undoped polymer being electrically resistive. The polymer cathode is somewhat flexible, allowing anion doping and undoping to occur without structured damage, allowing for high cycle life and good capacity retention.

The use of the solid state lithium electrochemical cells as rechargeable cells allows for the development of thin film rechargeable mono and bipolar lithium cells. The novel features of the cell include a system that is completely solid state. Moreover, polymers are employed as both cathode and electrolyte. Then, too, anions (instead of lithium cations) are shuttled in and out of the cathode. The polymeric electrolyte and cathode components total only a few microns in thickness. This allows for the manufacture of a very thin, multicell, high voltage battery.

Because the system is solid state, any desired geometric form is possible, and battery packages can be sealed in metallized plastic films. This reduces packaging weight considerably compared to the heavy-walled metal cans normally used for cells containing liquid electrolyte.

A solid electrolyte according to the invention includes a polymer host containing dissolved lithium salt, allowing the movement of Li+ and X- ions between the electrodes. There are many advantages associated with the use of ionically conducting polymers as for example (poly (ethylene oxide)) such as high speed processing of thin, light weight bipolar cells. Solid polymer electrolyte (SPE) films can act both as a mechanical separator between the anode and cathode, and as a binder/adhesive to insure contact between electrodes. Elasticity allows the SPE to conform to electrode volume changes during cycling. Further, safety is enhanced in that there is no liquid electrolyte to leak from cells. The SPE that can be used in the invention include at least one lithium salt selected from the group consisting of LiClO4, LiBF4, LiAsF6, LiCF3 So3, and LiN(CF3 So2)2 dissolved in at least one polymer host selected from the group consisting of poly (ethylene oxide), poly(propylene oxide) poly(dioxolane) and poly (methylmethacrylate).

Electropolymerized films on the order of one micron in thickness can be prepared to serve as the cathode material, that, when doped with anions on charging, are electronically conductive. Upon discharge, anions return to the electrolyte. Suitable solid polymer cathodes that can be used in the invention include poly(3-methylthirophene) poly(alkyl-thiophene) poly(aniline) poly(acetylene), or mixtures thereof.

The invention provides a solid state lithium electrochemical system that utilizes thin, solid polymer films as electrolyte and cathode, and that includes an anode of either metallic lithium or a lithium intercalating material. Such lithium intercalating materials include lithium alloy, LiC6, lithiated graphite, and lithiated petroleum coke.

An all-solid state lithium electrochemical cell is made with an ionically conducting SPE and an electronically conductive polymer cathode. The SPE is comprised of lithium salts (LiCF3 SO3, LiN(CF3 SO2)2) dissolved in poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO). The cathode is poly(3-methylthiophene) (PMT). In this cell, the polymer cathode accepts anions common to the SPE on charge, and releases anions into the SPE on discharge. Likewise, lithium ions from the SPE are plated as metallic lithium during charge, and released to the SPE on discharge as seen in the following equation: ##STR1##

Since anions and cations are simply being shuttled between electrodes, no new products are formed during charge or discharge, so no chemical reactions detrimental to cycle life occur. Therefore, exceptional cycle life and capacity are seen.


Electrochemical polymerization of poly(3-methylthiophene) (PMT) films is accomplished in a 125 ml European flask using a 1 cm2 platinum flag counter electrode, a saturated sodium calomel reference electrode, and a platinum rod working electrode. One end of the working electrode is polished to a mirror finish with an alumina/water paste and sheathed in heat shrinkable Teflon, exposing a 0.071 cm2 surface area. The cell is flooded with a solution containing 0.1M 3-methylthiophene monomer dissolved in acetonitrile that also contains a 0.1M concentration of either tetrabutylammonium tetrafluoroborate, LiCF3 SO3, or LiN[(CF3 SO2)]2. Ultra high purity argon is bubbled through the electrolyte to remove any oxygen. The PMT films, 1.4 microns thick, are polymerized at 10 mA cm-2 by passing a charge of 0.25 C cm-2 five (1.25 C cm-2 total), with five minute periods at open circuit between depositions. The PMT- covered electrode is rinsed in acetonitrile and dried under vacuum at 50 C. Polymerized films contain anions corresponding to the salt used: BF4 -, CF3 SO3 -, N(CF3 SO2)2 -.

PEO(MW=4106), LiCF3 SO3, and LiN(CF3 SO2)2 in a molar ratio of 20:1:1 are dissolved in acetonitrile that has been distilled while bubbling dry argon to form a viscous solution. PMT-covered electrodes are fitted with a small lithium metal reference electrode, then dipped into the polymer solution four or five times. Between each dip, films are allowed to stand to permit the CH3 CN to evaporate, leaving a solid polymer electrolyte covering the PMT and reference electrodes. Finished electrodes are dried overnight under active vacuum at 50 C. Laboratory cells are constructed by pressing the electrodes against metallic lithium (anodes) and maintaining slight pressure to ensure mechanical contact. Cell cycling is performed galvanostatically with an EG&G PAR Models 173 potentiostat/galvanostat controlled by a HP86B computer.


The electrochemical cell or system is:

Li/(PEO)20 (LiCF3 SO3)1, (LiN[CF3 S)2 ]2)1 /PMT-BF4 - 

In this cell, PMT is polymerized with BF4 as the dopant anion. The cell is discharged at 5 μA cm-2 to a 2.0 V cutoff, and charged at 2.5 μA to a 3.8 V cutoff for 170 cycles at a temperature between 19 C. and 22 C. Good retention of capacity is observed and mean cycling efficiency is 98.4%. Initial load potential is above 3.6 V with voltage gradually decreasing until near the end of discharge when voltage drags abruptly from about 3.0 V to the 2.0 V cutoff. There is an increase in capacity over the first few cycles that is explained by an increase in the level of polymer doping as the PMT becomes better able to accommodate anions.


This electrochemical system or cell is:

Li/(PEO)20 (LiCF3 SO3)1 (LiN[CF3 SO2 ]2)1 /PMT-CF3 SO3 - 

In this cell, the PMT dopant anion (CF3 SO3 -) introduced during electropolymerization is common to anions present in the electrolyte. Discharge (5 μA cm-2 to 2.0 V) and charge (3.5 μA cm2 to 3.8 V) capacity increases over the first few cycles from 2 mA h g-1 to 3.5 mA h g-1 until cycle 19, where capacity drops to 1.2 mA h g-1. Thereafter, capacity is very consistent, fading to slightly above 1.0 mA h g-1 by cycle 87.


The electrochemical cell or system is:

Li/(PEO)20 (LiCF3 SO3)1 (LiN[CF3 SO2 ]2)1 /PMT-N(CF3 SO2)2 - 

In this instance, the imide anion (N(CF3 SO2)2 -) initially doped into the PMT is also common to the electrolyte. Discharge and charge are both at a rate of 5 μA cm-2 between voltage cutoffs of 2.0 V and 3.8 V respectively. Capacity increases over the first few cycles to 12.9 mA h g-1. At cycle 25, capacity falls to 6.6 mA h g-1 then recovers slightly to remain between 7.5 to 8.5 mA h g-1 through cycle 72.

I wish it to be understood that I do not desire to be limited to the exact details of construction shown and described for obvious modifications will occur to a person skilled in the art.

Patent Citations
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US4543306 *May 31, 1983Sep 24, 1985Thomson-CsfElectrochemical device which can be used for energy storage
US4939050 *Nov 10, 1988Jul 3, 1990Bridgestone CorporationElectric cells
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5827602 *Sep 17, 1997Oct 27, 1998Covalent Associates IncorporatedHydrophobic ionic liquids
US5985487 *Nov 15, 1996Nov 16, 1999Valence Technology, Inc.Polymers and solvents, salts and viscosifiers
US6699621 *Jan 8, 1999Mar 2, 2004Johns Hopkins UniversityElectropolymerizing monomers on to a substrate in a polymerization solution; electrochemically conditioning polymer so as to increase discharge efficiency and charge capacity; doping to impart a non-neutral charge
EP0947014A1 *Oct 27, 1997Oct 6, 1999The Johns-Hopkins UniversityAn electrochemical storage cell containing at least one electrode formulated from a fluorophenyl thiophene polymer
U.S. Classification429/312, 429/212, 429/213
International ClassificationH01M10/052, H01M10/0565, H01M4/60
Cooperative ClassificationH01M10/0565, H01M4/60, Y02E60/122, H01M10/052
European ClassificationH01M10/052, H01M10/0565, H01M4/60