The role of LiO2 solubility in O2 reduction in aprotic solvents and its consequences for Li-O2 batteries

L. Johnson, C. Li, Z. Liu, Y. Chen, S.A. Freunberger, P.C. Ashok, B.B. Praveen, K. Dholakia, J.-M. Tarascon, P.G. Bruce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

626 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

When lithium–oxygen batteries discharge, ​O2 is reduced at the cathode to form solid ​Li2O2. Understanding the fundamental mechanism of ​O2 reduction in aprotic solvents is therefore essential to realizing their technological potential. Two different models have been proposed for ​Li2O2 formation, involving either solution or electrode surface routes. Here, we describe a single unified mechanism, which, unlike previous models, can explain ​O2 reduction across the whole range of solvents and for which the two previous models are limiting cases. We observe that the solvent influences ​O2 reduction through its effect on the solubility of LiO2, or, more precisely, the free energy of the reaction LiO2* ⇌ Li(sol)+ + O2(sol) + ion pairs + higher aggregates (clusters). The unified mechanism shows that low-donor-number solvents are likely to lead to premature cell death, and that the future direction of research for lithium–oxygen batteries should focus on the search for new, stable, high-donor-number electrolytes, because they can support higher capacities and can better sustain discharge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1091-1099
Number of pages9
JournalNature Chemistry
Volume6
Issue number12
Early online date10 Nov 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The role of LiO2 solubility in O2 reduction in aprotic solvents and its consequences for Li-O2 batteries'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this