Dr. Thein Kyu
Department of Polymer Engineering
Flexoionic Polymer Electrolyte Membranes:
Flexoelectricity generation occurs during the Cantilever bending of solid, flexoionic polymer electrolyte membranes developed at the laboratory of Thein Kyu. This novel flexoionic PEM material has opened new opportunity for energy harvesting from natural resources such as wind, ocean waves and rolling tires. The flexoelectric voltage and current thus generated are sizable for flexible sensor applications in smart wearable devices, including shoes/soles, wraps, sleeves, gloves or other garments to function as health monitoring therapeutic devices for electrocardiogram or electromyogram as well as to expedite pain relief or bone-healing of sports injuries.
Patent No: US 2018/0337417
Publication Date: 22 Nov 2018
Inventors: Thein Kyu, Camilo Piedrahita, Jinwei Cao
Solid-Sate Lithium Ion Battery:
The development of solid polymer electrolytes for lithium ion batteries has been a major challenge in the energy storage industry. In present lithium batteries, organic solvents are used as a means of energizing the ionic salt and promoting ion transport through polymer membranes. However, interaction between solvents and electrodes can lead to contamination, reducing battery shelf-life. Additionally, the organic reagents are contained in metal containers of various shapes, making batteries heavy and bulky, such that significant space is required for intended applications, e.g., electric vehicles. Moreover, damaged or leaky battery containers can present a safety risk.
The present work successfully produced a light weight solid polymer electrolyte film without requiring any solvent (see above). The chemistry is based on ternary blends of a polymer matrix, plasticizer, and ionic material. Specific examples are crosslinkable polyether, succinonitrile, and lithium salt. Optimized compositions can provide films which are flexible, transparent, and moldable in any shape or geometry, while maintaining outstanding ionic conductivity comparable to or better than the current lithium batteries that require organic solvents and separators.
Title: Stretchable, Solvent Free, Completely Amorphous Solid Electrolyte Films
Patent No: US 9,548,514
Issue Date: 17 Jan 2017
Inventors: Thein Kyu, Mauricio Echeverri