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Universal quinone electrodes for long cycle life aqueous rechargeable batteries

Abstract

Aqueous rechargeable batteries provide the safety, robustness, affordability, and environmental friendliness necessary for grid storage and electric vehicle operations, but their adoption is plagued by poor cycle life due to the structural and chemical instability of the anode materials. Here we report quinones as stable anode materials by exploiting their structurally stable ion-coordination charge storage mechanism and chemical inertness towards aqueous electrolytes. Upon rational selection/design of quinone structures, we demonstrate three systems that coupled with industrially established cathodes and electrolytes exhibit long cycle life (up to 3,000 cycles/3,500 h), fast kinetics (≥20C), high anode specific capacity (up to 200–395 mAh g−1), and several examples of state-of-the-art specific energy/energy density (up to 76–92 Wh kg−1/ 161–208 Wh l−1) for several operational pH values (−1 to 15), charge carrier species (H+, Li+, Na+, K+, Mg2+), temperature (−35 to 25 °C), and atmosphere (with/without O2), making them a universal anode approach for any aqueous battery technology.

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Figure 1: Schematics of aqueous rechargeable batteries based on quinone anodes operating at different pH values with the indicated corresponding redox chemistries.
Figure 2: Quinone-based acidic batteries.
Figure 3: Quinone-based metal-ion neutral batteries.
Figure 4: Quinone-based alkaline batteries.
Figure 5: Comparison of anode materials for aqueous rechargeable batteries.

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Acknowledgements

The information, data, or work presented herein was funded in part by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), US Department of Energy, under Award Number DE-AR0000380. The aqueous Mg-ion battery study was supported by the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award (N00014-13-1-0543). The aqueous Na-ion battery study was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF CMMI-1400261). This research used resources of the Advanced Photon Source, a US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility operated for the DOE Office of Science by Argonne National Laboratory under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357. A.F. thanks the Shenzhen Peacock Plan project (KQTD20140630110339343) for support. We thank J. Xu and E. R. Buiel for helpful discussions and Z. Meng for the help on fabricating alkaline batteries.

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Y.Y. and Y.L. conceived this work; Y.L., P.L. and Y.Y. designed the experiments; Y.L., Y.J. and S.G. synthesized the materials; Y.L., Y.J., S.G. and K.-Y.L. carried out the electrochemical measurements; A.F. and Y.L. performed the battery material cost analysis; Y.Y. and A.F. directed the project; Y.L., A.F. and Y.Y. co-wrote the paper; all authors analysed the results and commented on the manuscript.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Antonio Facchetti or Yan Yao.

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Competing interests

Y.Y. and Y.L. are inventors of patent applications (US/2014/0308581, US/2016/0049659) on the neutral and alkaline batteries described herein. Y.Y., Y.L., S.G. and Y.J. are inventors of a patent application (US/62/165,377) on the acid batteries. A.F. has no competing interests.

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Liang, Y., Jing, Y., Gheytani, S. et al. Universal quinone electrodes for long cycle life aqueous rechargeable batteries. Nature Mater 16, 841–848 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/nmat4919

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