Flexible Zn-Based Batteries with Polymer Electrolyte

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batteries Review Recent Progress and Challenges of Flexible Zn-Based Batteries with Polymer Electrolyte Funian Mo 1,†, Binbin Guo 2,3,†, Wei Ling 1,†, Jun Wei 1,*, Lina Chen 1, Suzhu Yu 1 and Guojin Liang 4,* 1 2 3 4 * Correspondence: junwei@hit.edu.cn (J.W.); gjliang3@cityu.edu.hk (G.L.) † These authors contributed equally to this work. Abstract: Zn-based batteries have been identified as promising candidates for flexible and wearable batteries because of their merits of intrinsic safety, eco-efficiency, high capacity and cost-effectiveness. Polymer electrolytes, which feature high solubility of zinc salts and softness, are especially advan- tageous for flexible Zn-based batteries. However, many technical issues still need to be addressed in Zn-based batteries with polymer electrolytes for their future application in wearable electronics. Recent progress in advanced flexible Zn-based batteries based on polymer electrolytes, including functional hydrogel electrolytes and solid polymer electrolytes, as well as the interfacial interactions between polymer electrolytes and electrodes in battery devices, is comprehensively reviewed and discussed with a focus on their fabrication, performance validation, and intriguing affiliated functions. Moreover, relevant challenges and some potential strategies are also summarized and analyzed to help inform the future direction of polymer-electrolyte-based flexible Zn-based batteries with high practicability. Keywords: Zn-based battery; polymer electrolytes; wearable electronics; interfacial interactions 1. Introduction With the rapid development of portable and wearable electronics, such as wearable sensors for health monitoring, flexible batteries have attracted significant research interest due to their vast application potential [1–4]. An ideal flexible battery possesses the merits of small size, mechanical flexibility, electrochemical stability and adaptability to deformation in practical usage. At present, lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) dominate the mainstream market, ranging from smartphones to electric vehicles, due to their intrinsic high voltage and high energy density. Unfortunately, the severe safety issues associated with the flammable and toxic organic electrolytes used continue to seriously hinder the development of flexible LIBs for wearable applications [5–7]. Therefore, substantial efforts have been devoted to identifying suitable alternatives. In recent years, zinc-ion batteries (ZIBs) have attracted much attention by virtue of their inherent safety, high capacity, eco-efficiency and satisfactory energy density, and have been identified as promising substitutes for LIBs [8–12]. For aqueous ZIBs, metallic Zn can be directly utilized as the anode due to its intrinsic stable chemical properties, possessing a high theoretical capacity of 5854 mAh cm−3 (or 820 mAh g−1) [13,14]. However, there are some challenges that occur in aqueous systems, Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Flexible Printed Electronics Technology Center, Harbin Institute of Technology, Shenzhen 518055, China; mofunian@hit.edu.cn (F.M.); 19b955008@stu.hit.edu.cn (W.L.); linachen@hit.edu.cn (L.C.); szyu@hit.edu.cn (S.Y.) School of Mechatronics Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China; 11949050@mail.sustech.edu.cn Department of Mechanical and Energy Engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen 518055, China Department of Materials Science and Engineering, City University of Hong Kong, 83 Dachi Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR 999077, China Citation: Mo, F.; Guo, B.; Ling, W.; Wei, J.; Chen, L.; Yu, S.; Liang, G. Recent Progress and Challenges of Flexible Zn-Based Batteries with Polymer Electrolyte. Batteries 2022, 8, 59. https://doi.org/10.3390/ batteries8060059 Academic Editor: Pascal Venet Received: 14 May 2022 Accepted: 16 June 2022 Published: 18 June 2022 Publisher’s Note: MDPI stays neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affil- iations. Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/ 4.0/). Batteries 2022, 8, 59. https://doi.org/10.3390/batteries8060059 https://www.mdpi.com/journal/batteries

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