Electrochemical Investigations into Blended Electrolytes Containing Ionic Liquids and a Glyme Solvent for Li-O­2 batteries

Alex R Neale, Peter Goodrich, Johan Jacquemin, Sarah Ball, Chris Hardacre

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


The Li-O2 battery may theoretically possess practical gravimetric energy densities several times greater than the current state-of-the-art Li-ion batteries.1 This magnitude of development is a requisite for true realization of electric vehicles capable of competing with the traditional combustion engine. However, significant challenges must be addressed before practical application may be considered. These include low efficiencies, low rate capabilities and the parasitic decomposition reactions of electrolyte/electrode materials resulting in very poor rechargeability.2-4 Ionic liquids, ILs, typically display several properties, extremely low vapor pressure and high electrochemical and thermal stability, which make them particularly interesting for Li-O2 battery electrolytes. However, the typically sluggish transport properties generally inhibit rate performance and cells suffer similar inefficiencies during cycling.5,6

In addition to the design of new ILs with tailored properties, formulating blended electrolytes using molecular solvents with ILs has been considered to improve their performance.7,8 In this work, we will discuss the physical properties vs. the electrochemical performance of a range of formulated electrolytes based on tetraglyme, a benchmark Li-O2 battery electrolyte solvent, and several ILs. The selected ILs are based on the bis{(trifluoromethyl)sulfonyl}imide anion and alkyl/ether functionalized cyclic alkylammonium cations, which exhibit very good stability and moderate viscosity.9 O2 electrochemistry will be investigated in these media using macro and microdisk voltammetry and O2 solubility/diffusivity is quantified as a function of the electrolyte formulation. Furthermore, galvanostatic cycling of selected electrolytes in Li-O2 cells will be discussed to probe their practical electrochemical performance. Finally, the physical characterization of the blended electrolytes will be reported in parallel to further determine structure (or formulation) vs. property relationships and to, therefore, assess the importance of certain electrolyte properties (viscosity, O2supply capability, donor number) on their performance.

This work was funded by the EPSRC (EP/L505262/1) and Innovate UK for the Practical Lithium-Air Batteries project (project number: 101577).

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2. S. A. Freunberger, Y. Chen, N. E. Drewett, L. J. Hardwick, F. Barde and P. G. Bruce, Angew. Chem., Int. Ed., 50, 8609 (2011).

3. B. D. McCloskey, A. Speidel, R. Scheffler, D. C. Miller, V. Viswanathan, J. S. Hummelshøj, J. K. Nørskov and A. C. Luntz, J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 3, 997 (2012).

4. D. G. Kwabi, T. P. Batcho, C. V. Amanchukwu, N. Ortiz-Vitoriano, P. Hammond, C. V. Thompson and Y. Shao-Horn, J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 5, 2850 (2014).

5. Z. H. Cui, W. G. Fan and X. X. Guo, J. Power Sources, 235, 251 (2013).

6. F. Soavi, S. Monaco and M. Mastragostino, J. Power Sources, 224, 115 (2013).

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8. A. Khan and C. Zhao, Electrochem. Commun., 49, 1 (2014).

9. Z. J. Chen, T. Xue and J.-M. Lee, RSC Adv., 2, 10564 (2012).
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2016
Event229th Electrochemical Society Meeting - San Diego, United States
Duration: 29 May 201602 Jun 2016


Conference229th Electrochemical Society Meeting
Abbreviated titleECS
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego
Internet address


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