A Novel Plastic-Crystal Electrolyte with Fast Ion-Transport Channels for Solid Zinc-Ion Batteries

Zhiming Zhao, Binbin Nian, Yongjiu Lei, Yizhou Wang, Lin Shi, Jian Yin, Omar F. Mohammed, Husam N. Alshareef*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Miniaturized solid zinc-ion batteries that are safe, environmentally friendly, and low-cost are ideal candidates for powering emerging microelectronics. However, sluggish Zn2+ mobility in solid phases hampers the viability of solid Zn2+ electrolytes and hence their practicability. Here, nanoscale Zn2+ channels are successfully engineered in a plastic-crystal electrolyte, thus activating fast Zn2+ solid-state transport. The ion-dipole interaction exerted by water molecules orients amphiphilic anions in bilayers, further forming a layered architecture backed by long-range van der Waals attractive forces. In the interlayer, the heteroleptic coordination contributed by the water molecule and anion frees the Zn2+ from anionic traps, leading to a high Zn2+ conductivity of 2.2 × 10−3 S cm−1. This elaborately tailored texture confers a combination of robust mechanical characteristics and outstanding electrochemical performance upon the resultant electrolyte. The applicability is demonstrated by the high Zn2+ platting/stripping efficiency (99.6%), durable longevity of symmetric Zn-Zn and Zn-MnO2 cells, as well as the engineering of versatile micro batteries (MBs). This work provides new perspectives for developing super multivalent ion conductors through the innovative design of ion-conducting nanochannels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2300063
JournalAdvanced Energy Materials
Issue number21
StatePublished - Jun 2 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Z.Z., B.N., and Y.L. contributed equally to this work. Research reported in this publication was supported by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Wiley-VCH GmbH.


  • ion-transport channels
  • layered structures
  • plastic-crystal electrolytes
  • solid batteries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Materials Science


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