Ion Pairing, Clustering and Transport in a LiFSI-TMP Electrolyte as Functions of Salt Concentration using Molecular Dynamics Simulations Academic Article uri icon


  • Battery capacity is highly related to ion-pairing mechanisms in electrolytes, since a cluster formation can lead to dead Li formation, reducing the number of charge carriers and leading to capacity fading. We use molecular dynamics simulations to model an electrolyte comprising trimethyl phosphate (TMP) solvent and a lithium bis(fluorosulfonyl)imide (LiFSI) salt, exploring effects of salt concentration on solvation and ion-transport. We simulate the LiFSI-TMP electrolyte for salt concentrations of 0.7, 1.43 and 3.82 molar. A statistical analysis was performed to study ion-pairing, clustering, diffusivity, conductivity, and coordination of Li-ions, providing insights into relations between molecular structures and transport properties. Molecular structure of ionic components changes as concentration increases, from a predominant solvent separated ion pair (SSIP) and contact ion pair (CIP) to aggregate salt (AGG) and ionic cluster formation. Given the formation of the ionic cluster, the diffusion mechanism followed by Li-ions changes from a hopping/exchange to a vehicular mechanism as concentration increases; this is reflected in a decrease of ionic conductivities. Ionicity was also calculated to reveal how the ionic motion changes from an uncorrelated to a correlated one as the salt concentration increases. We also compared our results with experimental calculations performed for similar electrolyte systems.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Galvez-Aranda, D. E., & Seminario, J. M.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Galvez-Aranda, Diego E||Seminario, Jorge M

publication date

  • April 2021