Highly sustainable polyphenylene sulfide membrane of tailored porous architecture for high-performance lithium-ion battery applications
Mechanically robust and chemically stable polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) membrane of efficient porous architecture as well as high porosity has been prepared from a PPS/SiO2 composite including homogeneous distribution of SiO2 nanoparticles, and its applicability as a separator in lithium-ion battery (LIB) was extensively examined in terms of sustainability of electrochemical behaviors. To improve distribution of SiO2 nanoparticles for the incompatible PPS/SiO2 mixture, prerequisite for the efficient porous architecture, interface modulation by plasma-assisted mechanochemical (MP) treatment has been performed, and the MP-treated PPS/SiO2 composite exhibited perfectly homogeneous distribution of SiO2 nanoparticles, finally resulting in porous PPS membrane including a large number of pores with nearly monodisperse pore diameter after removal of SiO2 phase. Alongside the well-developed porous architecture, the porous PPS membrane also deployed notably improved wetting to electrolyte imparted by the MP-based interface modulation, which gave rise to the complete suppression of disastrous build-up and intrusion of lithium dendrite on a separator as well as the electrochemical performances superior to those of the existing PP separator such as the highly sustainable cyclic charging/discharging behavior. Furthermore, it was notable that the PPS membrane exhibited outstanding mechanical stability especially at high temperature even after a large number of pores were developed inside, which has been generic from the nature of PPS. Conclusively, it could be stated that the porous PPS separator is a promising candidate fulfilling the performance requirements for the high-performance LIB.