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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Comparing two electrochemical approaches for measuring transference numbers in concentrated electrolytes

  • Author(s): Pesko, DM
  • Sawhney, S
  • Newman, J
  • Balsara, NP
  • et al.

© The Author(s) 2018. Published by ECS. We compare two experimental approaches for measuring the cation transference number in mixtures of polyethylene oxide (PEO) and lithium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide (LiTFSI) salt: the well-established current-interrupt method proposed by Ma et al. [J. Electrochem. Soc., 142, 1859 (1995)], and a more recent method based on measuring the steady-state current proposed by Balsara and Newman [J. Electrochem. Soc., 162, A2720 (2015)]. In electrolytes comprised of high molecular weight PEO, the data from the two techniques agree, highlighting the equivalence of these two approaches. However, in lower molecular weight PEO electrolytes the values of the two approaches diverge at low salt concentrations. We posit this is because the approach of Ma et al. requires measurements that are sensitive to the nature of the interface between the electrolyte and the electrode. The transference numbers measured by the approach of Balsara and Newman for both low and high molecular weight samples vary from 0.7 to −0.8 and are within experimental error throughout the entire salt concentration window.

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