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Rapid screening of lithium-ion battery electrolytes by radiolysis

​Researchers at Iramis, CEA-Liten and their partners in Nantes have shown that it is possible to quickly select the best electrolyte for a lithium-ion battery by gamma irradiation. The production of dihydrogen therefore provides a marker of the electrolyte's performance.

Published on 20 October 2022

​How do you optimize the chemical composition of a battery's electrolyte? The solution as well as the additives and their concentrations must first be varied, and then the electrolyte must be tested within an electrochemical cell over many charge-discharge cycles. This is a tedious and time-consuming task which cannot be replaced by computational simulations!

An electrolyte screening was performed in 2014 based on electrochemical (charge transfer resistance) and capacitance loss measurements after typically 15 cycles.

Inspired by this original work, researchers at Iramis and their partners at the CEA-Liten and the Jean Rouxel Institute of Materials in Nantes have proposed a rapid screening process based on the radiolysis of electrolytes as an alternative to battery tests.

The scientists accelerated the electrolyte aging by gamma irradiation (4.7 ± 0.2 Gy/min) and showed that common electrolytes can be classified with their different additives, by measuring dihydrogen production. Their results fit perfectly with the screening performed in 2014 by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy!

This generic approach could also be applied to the electrolyte screening of post Li-ion batteries, super-capacitors and solid-state batteries.

This study was supported by the CEA's FOCUS batteries program.

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