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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Hydrogen-Bonding Interactions in Hybrid Aqueous/Nonaqueous Electrolytes Enable Low-Cost and Long-Lifespan Sodium-Ion Storage.


Although "water-in-salt" electrolytes have opened a new pathway to expand the electrochemical stability window of aqueous electrolytes, the electrode instability and irreversible proton co-insertion caused by aqueous media still hinder the practical application, even when using exotic fluorinated salts. In this study, an accessible hybrid electrolyte class based on common sodium salts is proposed, and crucially an ethanol-rich media is introduced to achieve highly stable Na-ion electrochemistry. Here, ethanol exerts a strong hydrogen-bonding effect on water, simultaneously expanding the electrochemical stability window of the hybridized electrolyte to 2.5 V, restricting degradation activities, reducing transition metal dissolution from the cathode material, and improving electrolyte-electrode wettability. The binary ethanol-water solvent enables the impressive cycling of sodium-ion batteries based on perchlorate, chloride, and acetate electrolyte salts. Notably, a Na0.44MnO2 electrode exhibits both high capacity (81 mAh g-1) and a remarkably long cycle life >1000 cycles at 100 mA g-1 (a capacity decay rate per cycle of 0.024%) in a 1 M sodium acetate system. The Na0.44MnO2/Zn full cells also show excellent cycling stability and rate capability in a wide temperature range. The gained understanding of the hydrogen-bonding interactions in the hybridized electrolyte can provide new battery chemistry guidelines in designing promising candidates for developing low-cost and long-lifespan batteries based on other (Li+, K+, Zn2+, Mg2+, and Al3+) systems.

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