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Lithium-Air Batteries - Screening Solvents

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Chemical reactivity of aprotic electrolytes on a solid Li2O2 surface: screening solvents for Li–air batteries

Battery 500 Project 

 

Teodoro Laino and Alessandro Curioni,

New Journal of Physics, 15, 095009

 

Abstract

 

Nowadays, simulation techniques are routinely used to generate accurate models of the structures of crystalline and amorphous solids, to study surfaces, defects and the properties of complex systems, and to screen possible candidate materials for the most diverse types of technological applications. The screening of novel molecular structures has been so far pursued by calculation of intrinsic properties with first-principle methods. Still, the use of intrinsic properties as scoring functions may not always be optimal for systems of high complexity. In these cases, increasingly detailed and realistic simulations that take into account the interaction with the surrounding molecules are of crucial importance. In this paper, we present an effective way to screen different solvents with respect to their chemical stability versus Li2O2 solid particles. To achieve this, the minimum energy paths for different types of reactions of a series of aprotic solvents (acetonitrile and pivalonitrile, dimethyl sulphoxide, N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone and some of its derivatives, penta ethylene glycol (PEG-5) and a fluorinated derivative) with solid Li2O2 are computed and reported. From these data, we can extract the reaction energy barriers, which compare extremely well with the available experimental data and offer a convenient way for screening and designing suitable solvents for Li–air batteries from first-principle calculations.

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