Skip to main content

Ion Charge Carriers: Unlock the Potential of Storage Battery Chemistry

Ion Charge Carriers: Unlock the Potential of Storage Battery Chemistry

Wednesday, March 30, 2022 at 4:00 pm

Xiulei "David" Ji

The design of storage battery chemistry entails a holistic view of the redox reactions in a battery. The ion charge carriers transport to meet the charge neutrality of electrodes, which invokes the formation and dissociation of reactants and products of reactions in batteries. The choice of charge carriers speaks to the centrality of battery chemistry. The conventional paradigm of batteries often uses small metal cation ions as default charge carriers, e.g., Li+. The interaction of such ions with the host structure is usually ionic, where covalency is minimal. With the default charge carrier being Li+, the performance of batteries is a function of the properties of electrode materials. However, when the charge carriers beyond these small ions emerge for new batteries, the new electrochemical behaviors of the electrodes often found no sound theory for an explanation. In addition, the electrodes’ behaviors are no longer a function of the electrode materials alone but the interactions between the electrodes and the ion charge carriers. The electrode-ion chemical bonding reflects the nature of the chemical reaction, which affects the thermodynamic and kinetic properties of batteries. In the past ten years, my research group has investigated electrochemical reactions of different ion charge carriers, aiming to understand the chemical reaction nature of battery chemistry. Such an understanding avails us to identify the suitable battery chemistry for storage purposes. I will summarize battery chemistries with different cations and anions as charge carriers. I will discuss the impacts of electrode-ion interactions on electrochemical reactions' properties.

Weihong Qiu