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Energy Institute Lecture Series: Dr. George Floudas
March 12, 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm CDT
Solid Polymer Electrolytes for Battery Applications
The next presentation in the Texas A&M Energy Institute Lecture Series, featuring Dr. George Floudas, a Professor of Physics at the University of Ioannina, will be held on Monday, March 12, 2018 from 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM in the Frederick E. Giesecke Engineering Research Building (GERB) Third Floor Conference Room. The topic will be “Solid Polymer Electrolytes for Battery Applications.”
George Floudas is a Professor of Physics at the University of Ioannina (UoI), Greece and a visiting scientist at the Max Planck Institute of Polymer Research (MPI-P), Mainz. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Crete (1990) where he studied the dynamics of polymer/diluents by light scattering. He then moved to Imperial College, London, as a Post-Doc where he worked on polymer dynamics with neutron scattering. In 1992, he joined the MPI-P in Mainz where he worked on the self-assembly and kinetics of phase transformation of block copolymers mainly by X-ray scattering. In 1994, he moved to the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH-IESL) in Crete as a staff scientist working on polymer dynamics with dielectric spectroscopy. Since 2001, he has been at UoI, where his main interest is on the interplay of structure and dynamics of soft materials. He applies scattering techniques and dielectric spectroscopy, respectively. Systems of interest include amorphous and nanostructured polymers, biopolymers, liquid crystals and ionic systems in the bulk and under nanometer confinement.
There is extensive research towards the aim of achieving truly solid polymer electrolytes for applications in batteries. Potential candidates should have (i) high ionic conductivity, (ii) high lithium ion transference number and, at the same time, (iii) high elastic modulus (to prevent dendritic growth).
Moreover, materials must comply with the requirements of safety and have environmentally friendly constituents. Polymeric materials are good candidates for meeting these requirements. Among them, poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) with its low glass temperature, the relatively high dielectric constant, and the solvating capability for a number of lithium salts has emerged as a promising candidate. However, at temperatures above its melting point, PEO has a low modulus that does not comply with the requirement for mechanical stability. In this respect, block copolymer electrolytes composed of soft/hard nanophases offer particular advantages. The soft nanophase serves as ion-conducting phase, whereas the hard nanophase imparts the required mechanical strength. Here we review recent work on block copolymer electrolytes and suggest alternatives based on different topologies that include polymer brushes and discotic liquid crystals of nanographenes. The latter combine electronic and ionic conduction.