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Plastic Crystals Utilising Small Ammonium Cations and Sulfonylimide Anions as Electrolytes for Lithium Batteries

Latest updated: August 4, 2020

Authors: Ruhamah Yunis, Danah Al-Masri1, Anthony F. Hollenkamp, Cara M. Doherty, Haijin Zhu, and Jennifer M. Pringle

Link: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1149/1945-7111/ab76a2/meta





Organic ionic plastic crystals (OIPCs) are increasingly promising as a class of solid-state electrolyte for developing safer lithium batteries. However, their advancement relies on expanding the range of well-characterised cation/anion combinations. Here, we report the synthesis and characterization of OIPCs utilising small ammonium cations tetramethylammonium ([N1111]+), triethylmethylammonium ([N1222]+) and tetraethylammonium ([N2222]+), chosen to encourage significant rotational and translational motion, with the charge-diffuse and electrochemically stable bis(fluorosulfonyl)imide ([FSI]ˉ) and bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide ([NTf2]ˉ) anions. To investigate the physico-chemical properties of the OIPCs, the free volume was measured by positron annihilation spectroscopy (PALS) and correlated with the ionic conductivity and thermal analysis (DSC). Solid-state NMR analysis of the salts, is also reported. The salts with the less symmetric cation, [N1222][FSI] and [N1222][NTf2], were identified as the most promising electrolyte materials, and thus the electrochemical properties after mixing with 10 and 90 mol% lithium bis(fluorosulfonyl)imide (LiFSI) or lithium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide (LiNTf2), respectively, were investigated. This study demonstrates the efficacy of these OIPC materials as new quasi-solid state electrolytes with advantageous properties such as high conductivity, good thermal and electrochemical properties, the ability to incorporate high lithium salt concentrations and support efficient lithium electrochemistry.