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Title: The Effect of Potassium Impurities Deliberately Introduced into Activated Carbon Cathodes on the Performance of Lithium-Oxygen Batteries

Rechargeable lithium-air (Li-O2) batteries have drawn much interest owing to their high energy density. We report on the effect of deliberately introducing potassium impurities into the cathode material on the electrochemical performance of a Li-O2 battery. Small amounts of potassium introduced into the activated carbon (AC) cathode material in the synthesis process are found to have a dramatic effect on the performance of the Li-O2 cell. An increased amount of potassium significantly increases capacity, cycle life, and round-trip efficiency. This improved performance is probably due to a larger amount of LiO2 in the discharge product, which is a mixture of LiO2 and Li2O2, resulting from the increase in the amount of potassium present. No substantial correlation with porosity or surface area in an AC cathode is found. Lastly, experimental and computational studies indicate that potassium can act as an oxygen reduction catalyst, which can account for the dependence of performance on the amount of potassium.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [2]
  1. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division
  2. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Materials Science Division
  3. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Electron Microscopy Center
  4. Tsinghua Univ., Shenzhen (China). Graduate School
  5. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States). Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies
Publication Date:
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Accepted Manuscript
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Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 8; Journal Issue: 24; Journal ID: ISSN 1864-5631
ChemPubSoc Europe
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 25 ENERGY STORAGE; Li-O2 battery; activated carbon; lithium superoxide; carbon; batteries; lithium; oxygen; potassium