1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China;
2. State Key Laboratory of Advanced Welding and Joining, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China
Corresponding author (emails:
Thermal runaway has been a long-standing safety issue impeding the development of high-energy-density batteries. Physical safety designs such as employing circuit-breakers and fuses to batteries are limited by small operating voltage windows and no resumption of original working condition when it is cooled down. Here we report a smart thermoresponsive polymer electrolyte that can be incorporated inside batteries to prevent thermal runaway via a fast and reversible sol-gel transition, and successfully combine this smart electrolyte with a rechargeable Zn/α-MnO2 battery system. At high temperature, battery operation is inhibited as a result of the increased internal resistance caused by the gelation of liquid electrolyte. After cooling down, the electrolyte is spontaneously reversed to sol state and the electrochemical performance of the battery is restored. More importantly, sol-gel transition enables the smart battery to experience different charge-discharge rates under various temperature levels, providing a smart and active strategy to achieve dynamic and reversible self-protection.
Copyright 2020 Science China Press Co., Ltd. 《中国科学》杂志社有限责任公司 版权所有