This technology provides a method to create porous thermally drawn fibers that can be used for flexible lithium ion batteries or be adapted for drug delivery, filtration and chemical synthesis applications.
Preform based drawn fibers are typically limited to uniform structures along the length of the fiber. This technology allows pores to be introduced into the fiber, making the preform drawing method suitable to a wider range of applications, including flexible lithium ion batteries, drug delivery, and filtration.
The porous fiber starts as a preform containing a hollow region that is filled with a solution. During drawing, temperature is maintained so that the solution remains fully liquid. After drawing, the fiber cools to below the phase-separation temperature of the solution. This causes the solution to separate into solid and liquid regions, creating liquid-filled pores along the fiber length. If desired, the liquid can be drained from the pores and optionally replaced with another material. The liquid-filled porous structure can serve as the electrolyte for a battery. Other battery components (such as the current collector, anode and cathode) can be included in the preform so the drawn fiber becomes a fully functional, flexible battery. Alternatively, the fiber can be configured for filtration or chemical synthesis.
- Low cost and easy to scale up for commercial production
- Easily configured for a wide variety of needs, including flexible lithium ion batteries