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Environment and energy

Environment and energy

Challenges facing Li-ion battery electrolytes and high-energy cathodes

Available to watch now, The Electrochemical Society, in partnership with TA Instruments/Waters, BioLogic and Hiden Analytical, explores Li-ion battery electrolytes and high-energy cathodes

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Advances in materials for high energy, low cost and sustainable lithium ion batteries (LIBs) are vital for the pursuit of net zero emissions and to mitigate climate change.

The positive electrode (cathode) plays a key role in the overall energy, cost and sustainability of the battery. In the near-term, the battery industry is turning to nickel (Ni)-rich layered transition metal oxide cathodes. However, LIBs with Ni-rich cathode chemistry suffer from rapid performance fading issues that presently limit their lifetime.

This webinar discusses the profound impact that the electrolyte composition has on the lifetime of LIBs with Ni-rich cathodes. The complex interactions between Ni-rich cathodes and organic carbonate-based electrolytes at the electrode–electrolyte interface (EEI) are explored in light of recent work, which demonstrates the detrimental effect of ethylene carbonate (EC), a core component in conventional electrolytes, when the battery is charged.

Using a combination of online electrochemical mass spectrometry (OEMS), electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES), a mechanistic understanding of the degradation processes in EC-containing and EC- free electrolytes is provided.

A perspective on the conflicting electrolyte needs of Ni-rich cathodes and LIB anodes, and the implications of findings for other next-generation cathodes are discussed.

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Wesley Dose is an assistant professor in the School of Chemistry at the University of Leicester. After receiving his PhD in chemistry in 2015 from the University of Newcastle, he held postdoctoral positions in Dr Christopher Johnson’s group at Argonne National Laboratory, and Prof. Michael De Volder and Prof. Clare Grey’s groups at the University of Cambridge. His post-doctoral work focused on the study of advanced electrode materials for next-generation lithium ion batteries; specifically, silicon-based anodes and nickel-rich layered transition metal oxide cathodes. Wesley joined the faculty at Leicester in 2021. His research investigates energy storage materials for applications in various battery chemistries including lithium ion and “beyond” lithium ion.

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