American Chemical Society
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Nonaggregated Anions Enable the Undercooled Aqueous Electrolyte for Low-Temperature Applications

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-04-23, 18:40 authored by Qiu Zhang, Yong Lu, Xiaomeng Liu, Weiwei Xie, Jun Chen
Aqueous batteries, with the advantages of high safety and low cost, are highly promising for large-scale energy storage. However, freezing of the aqueous electrolyte limits the low-temperature operation. Here, we propose and achieve a highly dispersed solvation structure in the electrolyte by coupling nonaggregated Cl anions, which reduces the water cluster size and prevents the solidification of the aqueous electrolyte until −136.3 °C. The low-temperature LiCl electrolyte exhibits a high ionic conductivity (1.0 mS cm–1) at −80 °C and enables a stable low-temperature Ag/AgCl reference electrode at −50 °C. Moreover, the polyaniline-based battery can work at an extremely low temperature of −100 °C and shows superior cycling performance of 4000 cycles at −40 °C with 95.7% capacity retention. This work elucidates the correlation between the anion effect and the thermodynamic transition of the electrolyte, offering a novel approach for designing low-temperature electrolytes.