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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Enhanced Stability of the Carba- closo-dodecaborate Anion for High-Voltage Battery Electrolytes through Rational Design.

  • Author(s): Hahn, Nathan T
  • Seguin, Trevor J
  • Lau, Ka-Cheong
  • Liao, Chen
  • Ingram, Brian J
  • Persson, Kristin A
  • Zavadil, Kevin R
  • et al.

Future energy applications rely on our ability to tune liquid intermolecular interactions and achieve designer electrolytes with highly optimized properties. In this work, we demonstrate rational, combined experimental-computational design of a new carba- closo-dodecaborate-based salt with enhanced anodic stability for Mg energy storage applications. We first establish, through a careful examination using a range of solvents, the anodic oxidation of a parent anion, the carba- closo-dodecaborate anion at 4.6 V vs Mg0/2+ (2.0 vs Fc0/+), a value lower than that projected for this anion in organic solvent-based electrolytes and lower than weakly associating bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide and tetrafluoroborate anions. Solvents such as acetonitrile, 3-methylsulfolane, and 1,1,1,3,3,3-hexafluoroisopropanol are shown to enable the direct measurement of carba- closo-dodecaborate oxidation, where the resultant neutral radical drives passive film formation on the electrode. Second, we employ computational screening to evaluate the impact of functionalization of the parent anion on its stability and find that replacement of the carbon-vertex proton with a more electronegative fluorine or trifluoromethyl ligand increases the oxidative stability and decreases the contact-ion pair formation energy while maintaining reductive stability. This predicted expansion of the electrochemical window for fluorocarba- closo-dodecaborate is experimentally validated. Future work includes evaluation of the viability of these derivative anions as efficient and stable carriers for energy storage as a function of the ionic transport through the resulting surface films formed on candidate cathodes.

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