A reversible thermoresponsive electrolyte system was demonstrated to achieve active control and thermal self protection of electrochemical energy storage devices. The smart electrolyte system is achieved by employing a commercially available and low-cost thermoplastic elastomer, which shows a fast sol?gel transition process upon heating. The gelation of Pluronic solution-based electrolytes signifi cantly inhibits the migration of ions, leading to a nearly 100% decrease in specific capacitance. In addition, the transition temperature and the degree of capacity loss can be readily tuned over a wide range by optimizing the solution concentration and MW of the polymeric material. This Pluronic-based smart electrolyte can be directly employed to design electrochemical energy storage devices with aqueous electrolytes and the chemical/physical features of Pluronic can direct researchers to explore new smart electrolytes for other nonaqueous systems such as lithium ion batteries and fuel cells. These polymers could exhibit similarities to the ABA-type structure, LCST behavior and ability to form micelles in a number of different solvents.
- electrochemical energy storage
- thermoplastic elastomers
- thermoresponsive, smart electrolytes