Crosslinking of sugar-derived polyethers and boronic acids for renewable, self-healing and single-ion conducting organogel polymer electrolytes

Emma L. Daniels, James R. Runge, Matthew Oshinowo, Hannah Leese, Antoine Buchard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (SciVal)


This report describes the synthesis and characterization of organogels by reaction of a diol-containing polyether, derived from the sugar d-xylose, with 1,4-phenylenediboronic acid (PDBA). The cross-linked materials were analyzed by infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), and rheology. The rheological material properties could be tuned: gel or viscoelastic behavior depended on the concentration of polymer, and mechanical stiffness increased with the amount of PDBA cross-linker. Organogels demonstrated self-healing capabilities and recovered their storage and loss moduli instantaneously after application and subsequent strain release. Lithiated organogels were synthesized through incorporation of lithium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide (LiTFSI) into the cross-linked matrix. These lithium-borate polymer gels showed a high ionic conductivity value of up to 3.71 × 10 -3 S cm -1 at 25 °C, high lithium transference numbers (t + = 0.88-0.92), and electrochemical stability (4.51 V). The gels were compatible with lithium-metal electrodes, showing stable polarization profiles in plating/stripping tests. This system provides a promising platform for the production of self-healing gel polymer electrolytes (GPEs) derived from renewable feedstocks for battery applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2924-2935
Number of pages12
JournalACS Applied Energy Materials
Issue number5
Early online date21 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Konstantinos Myronidis for help and useful discussions regarding rheological measurements and Prof Frank Marken for advice on EIS. Analytical facilities were provided through the Material and Chemical Characterization Facility (MC) at the University of Bath. We thank Dr. Philip Fletcher for assistance with FE-SEM imaging. Research funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (DTP studentship to JRR, EP/L016354/1 CDT in Sustainable Chemical Technologies Studentship to ELD), the University of Bath (studentship to MO), and the Royal Society (UF/160021 and URF\R\221027, fellowship to AB) is also acknowledged.


  • bioderived polymers
  • gel polymer electrolyte
  • self-healing gel
  • single-ion conductor
  • xylose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Electrochemistry


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