Liquid state properties of SEI components in dimethoxyethane.
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The solid-electrolyte interphase (SEI) layer is a critical constituent of battery technology, which incorporates the use of lithium metals. Since the formation of the SEI is difficult to avoid, the engineering and harnessing of the SEI are absolutely critical to advancing energy storage. One problem is that much fundamental information about SEI properties is lacking due to the difficulty in probing a chemically complex interfacial system. One such property that is currently unknown is the dissolution of the SEI. This process can have significant effects on the stability of the SEI, which is critical to battery performance but is difficult to probe experimentally. Here, we report the use of ab initio computational chemistry simulations to probe the solution state properties of SEI components LiF, Li2O, LiOH, and Li2CO3 in order to study their dissolution and other solution-based characteristics. Ab initio molecular dynamics was used to study the solvation structures of the SEI with a combination of radial distribution functions, discrete solvation structure maps, and vibrational density of states, which allows for the determination of free energies. From the change in free energy of dissolution, we determined that LiOH is the most likely component to dissolve in the electrolyte followed by LiF, Li2CO3, and Li2O although none were favored thermodynamically. This indicates that dissolution is not probable, but Li2O would make the most stable SEI with regard to dissolution in the electrolyte.
author list (cited authors)
Kamphaus, E. P., & Balbuena, P. B.
complete list of authors
Kamphaus, Ethan P||Balbuena, Perla B