Boron derived polymer materials for solid state electrolytes in advanced lithium silicon batteries and as active species in polymer redox flow batteries. (BODPOLBAT)

Start Date


End Date


Funding Body

Science Foundation Ireland

Research Partner/Host:



Prof. Kevin M. Ryan, UL


Dr. Mary T. Price, DCU

Research Area

Materials and Structures


Nanotechnology Research at the University of Limerick


Higher energy density, lower cost and better performing rechargeable batteries are needed for mobile and stationary storage applications particularly for electric vehicles (25-150 Kwh) and for renewable energy storage at generation and grid-level storage (MWh). Achieving advances in each of these technologies requires new materials solutions allowing for progress beyond the state of the art. This project investigates boron derived polymer materials for two separate but complementary applications in rechargeable batteries for mobile and stationary storage, respectively.

Work Packages

A major challenge for electric vehicles is safety considering that each cell currently uses volatile organic solvents as electrolytes. There is a significant push towards moving from liquid electrolytes to all-solid-state polymer electrolytes. The aim of this task is to investigate boron derived ionogels as solid-state electrolytes for advanced lithium silicon batteries. As boron is electropositive in its trivalent neutral state, boron containing polymers are optimal to enhance lithium transfer for high mobility. The ionogels will be optimised for lithium-ion conductivity, thermal and electrochemical stability. They will then be incorporated with silicon anodes and high voltage cobalt free cathodes.

The second task will investigate related Boron-dipyrromethene (BODIPY) polymers as redox-active polymers for redox flow batteries.  The aim of this study is the synthesis and application of BODIPY polymers that will be tailored for redox flow batteries. All hydrogen atoms of the BODIPY core will be substituted with various groups, which will inhibit side reactions and enhance the reversibility of all redox reactions.  It is possible to control both stability and reversibility in BODIPY materials by the choice of the substituents on the BODIPY core.