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Advanced materials: room temperature liquid metal battery based on multi mixed cations and its interface ion selection principle

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The alkali metal anode represented by lithium is one of the most ideal anode materials because of its ultra-high energy density. However the growth of branched crystals in metal electrodes threatens the safety of alkali metal anodes. Many research groups have reported that the growth of dendrites can be inhibited by physical relaxation of tension chemical design of electrolyte adding inhibitors. However as an intrinsic characteristic of inhomogeneous reaction between materials actual reaction process the growth of dendrites can only be inhibited but can not be cured. The liquid metal anode composed of sodium potassium alloy has good fluidity deformability which can basically avoid the formation of branched crystals maintain high energy density at the same time. It has faster reaction kinetics than solid metal. It is an ideal choice to replace lithium as a new generation of alkali metal anode. In the current research of sodium ion potassium ion batteries there are few cathode materials with high capacity high potential. How can we achieve the goal of both having the characteristics of unbranched crystal keeping high energy density at the same time?

Yu Guihua research group of University of Texas at Austin USA followed by Prof Goodenough project team after in-depth research on sodium potassium alloy gallium based alloy liquid metal published many achievements recently designed a new hybrid ion battery which is composed of sodium potassium liquid metal as negative electrode commercial lithium-ion battery material as positive electrode. This design perfectly combines the advantages of the two sides realizes the high energy density at the same time avoids the branching which provides a new idea for the design of alkali metal ion battery. In the mixed electrolyte environment of lithium potassium ions potassium ions in the negative sodium potassium alloy are used as carriers for redox in the cycle lithium ions in the positive electrode are selected by size as carriers in the ion channel of Ni1 / 3mn1 / 3co1 / 3o3 (NMC) so as to realize stable cycle. This design not only shows at least 500 cycles only 99.998% per cycle but also shows excellent rate performance high energy density. Interestingly the researchers found that a small amount of sodium ions can enter into the electrolyte at low magnification can be reflected in the voltage curve because the interface products formed on the contact surface between metal electrolyte are different from those formed at high magnification. Through fine rate regulation the carriers can be selected to determine whether sodium ions are involved. The researchers of

believe that this study provides a reference for the precise control of complex ternary mixed cation electrochemical system provides a way for the stable selection of one of the cations with similar voltage difference as the carrier which may inspire more experts to design. At the same time this design also provides a solution to the problem of low energy density rate of current sodium potassium ion batteries provides a possibility for the practical use of sodium potassium liquid metal as the actual commercial anode.

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