Research ArticleELECTROCHEMISTRY

Systems-level investigation of aqueous batteries for understanding the benefit of water-in-salt electrolyte by synchrotron nanoimaging

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Advances  06 Mar 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 10, eaay7129
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aay7129

Abstract

Water-in-salt (WIS) electrolytes provide a promising path toward aqueous battery systems with enlarged operating voltage windows for better safety and environmental sustainability. In this work, a new electrode couple, LiV3O8-LiMn2O4, for aqueous Li-ion batteries is investigated to understand the mechanism by which the WIS electrolyte improves the cycling stability at an extended voltage window. Operando synchrotron transmission x-ray microscopy on the LiMn2O4 cathode reveals that the WIS electrolyte suppresses the mechanical damage to the electrode network and dissolution of the electrode particles, in addition to delaying the water decomposition process. Because the viscosity of WIS is notably higher, the reaction heterogeneity of the electrodes is quantified with x-ray absorption spectroscopic imaging, visualizing the kinetic limitations of the WIS electrolyte. This work furthers the mechanistic understanding of electrode–WIS electrolyte interactions and paves the way to explore the strategy to mitigate their possible kinetic limitations in three-dimensional architectures.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science Advances