The dimensionality, directionality and compositional flexibility of electrospun nanofibres and mats are increasing being investigated for the targeted development of electrode and electrolyte materials. Specific properties associated with the nano-scale features such high surface to volume and aspect ratios, low density and high pore volume allow performance improvements in energy conversion and storage devices.
Some applications of electrospinning for designing architectured nanofibre materials are dye sensitised solar cells, fuel cells, lithium ion batteries and supercapacitors, with particular emphasis on improved energy and power density.
In particular separators play a key role in all batteries. A separator is a porous membrane placed between electrodes of opposite polarity, permeable to ionic flow but preventing electric contact of the electrodes. A variety of separators have been used in batteries over the years, but as batteries have become more sophisticated, separator function has also become more demanding and complex; materials such as electrospun PAN or PVDF could be a valid substitute for common separators.
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