March 21, 2023
Journal Article

Voltage and Temperature Limits of Advanced Electrolytes for Lithium-Metal Batteries


Several advanced electrolytes (mainly ether-based) have recently demonstrated excellent electrochemical performance in high energy density lithium (Li)-metal batteries. However, the safety of these ether-based electrolytes is still unknown. This work evaluates the thermal stability of these new formulations to understand their safety limits of operation in comparison to carbonate electrolytes typically used in Li-ion batteries. Electrolyte stability is assessed in conjunction with LiNi0.8Mn0.1Co0.1O2 cathode and Li-metal anode at ultra-high voltages (= 4.8 V) and temperatures (= 300 ?) to trigger thermal runaway, where onset and extent of heat release are monitored via isothermal microcalorimetry and differential scanning calorimetry Most ether-based electrolytes show improved thermal resilience over commercial carbonate formulations when heated up to 300 ?. The thermal behavior in presence of charged cathode and Li-metal suggests that the new electrolytes may be better at stabilizing active material surfaces than carbonate electrolytes. Although extreme voltages severely destabilize the ether-based formulations, prompting thermal runaway, a phosphate based localized high concentration electrolyte exhibits superior stability over commercial carbonate electrolytes at all tested temperatures (32 ?, 45 ? and 60 ?). Although thermal analysis during the first charge process (as adopted in this preliminary study) may be insufficient to conclude the long-term advantages of these electrolytes, a more stable electrolyte identified under extreme voltage and temperature conditions will provide valuable guidance for the safety of future electrolyte designs.

Published: March 21, 2023


Buyuker I., B. Pei, H. Zhou, X. Cao, Z. Yu, S. Liu, and W. Zhang, et al. 2023. Voltage and Temperature Limits of Advanced Electrolytes for Lithium-Metal Batteries. ACS Energy Letters 8, no. 4:1735-1743. PNNL-SA-181739. doi:10.1021/acsenergylett.3c00235