Calcium batteries are promising alternatives to lithium batteries owing to their high energy density, comparable reduction potential, and mineral abundance. However, to meet practical demands in high-performance applications, suitable electrolytes must be developed. Here, we report the synthesis and characterization of polymer gel electrolytes for calcium-ion conduction prepared by the photo-cross-linking of poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate (PEGDA) in the presence of solutions of calcium salts in a mixture of ethylene carbonate (EC) and propylene carbonate (PC) solvents. The results show room-temperature conductivity between 10-5 and 10-4 S/cm, electrochemical stability windows of μ3.8 V, full dissociation of the salt, and minimal coordination with the PEGDA backbone. Cycling in symmetric Ca metal cells proceeds but with increasing overpotentials, which can be attributed to interfacial impedance between the electrolyte and calcium surface, which inhibits charge transfer. Calcium may still be plated and stripped yielding high-purity deposits and no indication of significant electrolyte breakdown, indicating that high overpotentials are associated with an electrically insulating, yet ion-permeable solid electrolyte interface (SEI). This work provides a contribution to the study and understanding of polymer gel materials toward their improvement and application as electrolytes for calcium batteries.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)