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Previous EEL Research Highlights

Yi-Chun Lu, Ethan J. Crumlin, Gabriel M. Veith, Jonathon R. Harding, Eva Mutoro, Loïc Baggetto, Nancy J. Dudney, Zhi Liu & Yang Shao-Horn

The lack of fundamental understanding of the oxygen reduction and oxygen evolution in nonaqueous electrolytes significantly hinders the development of rechargeable lithium-air batteries. Here we employ a solid-state Li4+xTi5O12/LiPON/LixV2O5 cell and examine in situ the chemistry of Li-O2 reaction products on LixV2O5 as a function of applied voltage under ultra high vacuum (UHV) and at 500 mtorr of oxygen pressure using ambient pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (APXPS). Under UHV, lithium intercalated into LixV2O5 while molecular oxygen was reduced to form lithium peroxide on LixV2O5 in the presence of oxygen upon discharge. Interestingly, the oxidation of Li2O2 began at much lower overpotentials (~240 mV) than the charge overpotentials of conventional Li-O2 cells with aprotic electrolytes (~1000 mV). Our study provides the first evidence of reversible lithium peroxide formation and decomposition in situ on an oxide surface using a solid-state cell, and new insights into the reaction mechanism of Li-O2 chemistry. more

Fundamental reactions behind advanced battery technology, revealed in detail by advanced imaging method, could lead to improved materials.
David L. Chandler, MIT News Office
A solid-state lithium-air battery (highlighted in orange) is positioned inside a test chamber at the Advanced Light Source (ALS) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, in preparation for its testing using X-ray photoelectron microscopy. Image courtesy of Eva Mutoro and Ethan Crumlin, ALS

Current Research Highlight