Investigation on the charging process of Li 2O 2-based air electrodes in Li-O 2 batteries with organic carbonate electrolytes
The charging process of Li 2O 2-based air electrodes in Li-O 2 batteries with organic carbonate electrolytes was investigated using in situ gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy (GC/MS) to analyze gas evolution. A mixture of Li 2O 2/Fe 3O 4/Super P carbon/polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) was used as the starting air electrode material, and 1-M lithium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide (LiTFSI) in carbonate-based solvents was used as the electrolyte. We found that Li 2O 2 was actively reactive to 1-methyl-2-pyrrolidinone and PVDF that were used to prepare the electrode. During the first charging (up to 4.6 V), O 2 was the main component in the gases released. The amount of O 2 measured by GC/MS was consistent with the amount of Li 2O 2 that decomposed during the electrochemical process as measured by the charge capacity, which is indicative of the good chargeability of Li 2O 2. However, after the cell was discharged to 2.0 V in an O 2 atmosphere and then recharged to ∼4.6 V, CO 2 was dominant in the released gases. Further analysis of the discharged air electrodes by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy indicated that lithium-containing carbonate species (lithium alkyl carbonates and/or Li 2CO 3) were the main discharge products. Therefore, compatible electrolytes and electrodes, as well as the electrode-preparation procedures, need to be developed for rechargeable Li-air batteries for long term operation.