Safer, gummed up batteries

Although it rarely happens, lithium ion batteries can, under certain conditions, ignite, damaging devices and risking life. Now, Katie Zhong and colleagues at Washington State University have developed a gummy, sol-gel, electrolyte that precludes leakage. The gummy electrolytes show excellent performance in adhesion/contact, structural integrity under various deformations, high ionic conductivity, and safety (thermal-protection and leakage-free properties). These results indicate that the gummy electrolyte is a viable solution for safe and flexible/stretchable lithium ion batteries, the team reports in the journal Advanced Energy Materials.