3 years ago

Phenol-Catalyzed Discharge in the Aprotic Lithium-Oxygen Battery

Phenol-Catalyzed Discharge in the Aprotic Lithium-Oxygen Battery
Yuhui Chen, Lee R. Johnson, Xiangwen Gao, Peter G. Bruce, Zarko P. Jovanov
Discharge in the lithium-O2 battery is known to occur either by a solution mechanism, which enables high capacity and rates, or a surface mechanism, which passivates the electrode surface and limits performance. The development of strategies to promote solution-phase discharge in stable electrolyte solutions is a central challenge for development of the lithium-O2 battery. Here we show that the introduction of the protic additive phenol to ethers can promote a solution-phase discharge mechanism. Phenol acts as a phase-transfer catalyst, dissolving the product Li2O2, avoiding electrode passivation and forming large particles of Li2O2 product—vital requirements for high performance. As a result, we demonstrate capacities of over 9 mAh cm−2areal, which is a 35-fold increase in capacity compared to without phenol. We show that the critical requirement is the strength of the conjugate base such that an equilibrium exists between protonation of the base and protonation of Li2O2. Battery balancing: Discharge in the Li-O2 battery occurs either by a desired solution mechanism or an unfavored surface mechanism, which passivates the electrode surface. The introduction of phenol promotes solution-phase discharge. Phenol acts as a phase-transfer catalyst (see scheme), dissolving the product Li2O2, avoiding electrode passivation and forming large particles of Li2O2—vital requirements for high performance.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/anie.201702432

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