Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute in collaboration with the National Research Council of Canada published recently the results of their experimental research in which a plastic crystal solid electrolyte was used as a solid electrolyte. This electrolyte was found to exhibit high ionic conductivity and wide electrochemical window stability. The electrolyte was prepared by mixing tetrabutylammonium hexafluorophosphate salt, with succinonitrile. 

Dr. Ali Abouimrane, QEERI’s Principal Investigator, explains that plastic crystal electrolytes are a class of materials that attracted a lot of attention due to their ability to deliver liquid-like conductivity within a flexible matrix and therefore can be utilized as solid electrolytes in many electrochemical and photo-electrochemical applications. The resultant waxy material shows a plastic crystalline phase that extends from -36 °C up to its melting at 23 °C, in addition to a high ionic conductivity reaching 4 × 10−5 S/cm in the plastic crystal phase (15 °C) and ~ 3 × 10−3 S/cm in the molten state (25 °C). These properties along with the high electrochemical stability rendered the use of this material as an electrolyte in an electrochemical double-layer capacitor (EDLC).

This work was published in The Frontiers in Energy Research, section Energy Storage “An All-solid-state Electrochemical Double-layer Capacitor Based on a Plastic Crystal Electrolyte”