Regulating lithium nitrate solvation chemistry in carbonate electrolytes for high-voltage Li-metal batteries

Safe, high-energy-density, and rechargeable batteries have been pursued to extend the operation hours of mobile IT devices and the driving mileages of electric vehicles. Owing to their extremely high energy density, lithium (Li) metal batteries have attracted extensive attentions among scientists and engineers as the next-generation lithium batteries. However, their applications have been limited due to inherent Li dendrites growth and the related safety concerns.

Electrolyte composition has a profound impact on the electrochemical cycling of Li metal anodes. LiNO3 is one of the most effective additives to improve the performance of Li-metal anodes, which can inhibit the Li dendrite growth by stabilizing Li metal interface. However, its application in high-voltage Li-metal batteries is greatly hampered by its low solubility in the commonly used carbonate-based electrolytes.

This project would propose a rational design by introducing an anion receptor additive to enhance the LiNO3 solubility in carbonate electrolytes to enable the high-voltage Li-metal batteries. As such, this research will not only improve the overall performance of high-voltage Li-metal batteries, but also provide important and fundamental insights into the underlying roles of nitrate and anion receptor additives.