Alkali metal–oxygen batteries promise high gravimetric energy densities but suffer from low rate capability, poor cycle life and safety hazards associated with metal anodes. Here we describe a safe, high-rate and long-life oxygen battery that exploits a potassium biphenyl complex anode and a dimethylsulfoxide-mediated potassium superoxide cathode. The proposed potassium biphenyl complex–oxygen battery exhibits an unprecedented cycle life (3,000 cycles) with a superior average coulombic efficiency of more than 99.84% at a high current density of 4.0 mA cm−2. We further reduce the redox potential of biphenyl by adding the electron-donating methyl group to the benzene ring, which successfully achieved a redox potential of 0.14 V versus K/K+. This demonstrates the direction and opportunities to further improve the cell voltage and energy density of the alkali-metal organic–oxygen batteries.
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Data supporting the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.
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The work described in this paper was supported by the Research Grant Council of the Hong Kong Administrative Region, China, under the Theme-based Research Scheme through Project T23-60I/17-R and General Research Fund CUHK 14207517. The authors are grateful to Y. Wang for assisting with the OEMS measurements.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Cong, G., Wang, W., Lai, N. et al. A high-rate and long-life organic–oxygen battery. Nat. Mater. 18, 390–396 (2019) doi:10.1038/s41563-019-0286-7
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