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A high-capacity and long-life aqueous rechargeable zinc battery using a metal oxide intercalation cathode

Nature Energy volume 1, Article number: 16119 (2016) | Download Citation

Abstract

Although non-aqueous Li-ion batteries possess significantly higher energy density than their aqueous counterparts, the latter can be more feasible for grid-scale applications when cost, safety and cycle life are taken into consideration. Moreover, aqueous Zn-ion batteries have an energy storage advantage over alkali-based batteries as they can employ Zn metal as the negative electrode, dramatically increasing energy density. However, their development is plagued by a limited choice of positive electrodes, which often show poor rate capability and inadequate cycle life. Here we report a vanadium oxide bronze pillared by interlayer Zn2+ ions and water (Zn0.25V2O5nH2O), as the positive electrode for a Zn cell. A reversible Zn2+ ion (de)intercalation storage process at fast rates, with more than one Zn2+ per formula unit (a capacity up to 300 mAh g−1), is characterized. The Zn cell offers an energy density of 450 Wh l−1 and exhibits a capacity retention of more than 80% over 1,000 cycles, with no dendrite formation at the Zn electrode.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by Natural Resources Canada; and NSERC via a Discovery Grant to L.F.N. and an NSERC Scholarship to B.D.A. The research was also supported in part by the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), an Energy Innovation Hub funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences. We thank R. Black for his assistance with the operando mass spectrometry analysis.

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Chemistry and the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1, Canada

    • Dipan Kundu
    • , Brian D. Adams
    • , Victor Duffort
    • , Shahrzad Hosseini Vajargah
    •  & Linda F. Nazar

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Contributions

D.K., B.D.A. and L.F.N. designed this study. D.K. developed the synthesis protocol for the materials, the fabrication of the positive electrodes, and carried out the electrochemical experiments together with B.D.A., who contributed to the control of electrochemistry at the negative electrode. V.D. conducted the operando XRD studies and S.H.V. characterized the material with HRTEM. L.F.N. together with all of the co-authors wrote the manuscript, and all authors contributed to the scientific discussion.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Linda F. Nazar.

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    Supplementary Information

    Supplementary Figures 1–13, Supplementary Table 1, Supplementary Notes 1–6, Supplementary Methods, Supplementary References.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nenergy.2016.119

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