Characterization of the Discharge Products in Li-O2 Batteries
Kephart, Megan R
MetadataShow full item record
Research studies on Lithium Oxygen (Li-O2) batteries is expected to have a far-reaching impact on industry, the environment and society. Exploring the one electron transfer process, studying the fundamental physical and chemical properties of the new LiO2 material and investigating potential stabilizing catalysts could lead to a LiO2, or lithium superoxide battery, which then could be developed into a solid state battery. It is therefore crucial to further research the reaction mechanism, the properties of LiO2, and to characterize the discharge products of Li-O2 batteries. Li-O2 batteries are an excellent candidate for many electronic devices and for Electric Vehicles (EVs) due to their high theoretical energy density. However, there are many obstacles to overcome before the commercialization of this battery becomes a viable reality. The problems that are currently being researched are: poor cyclability, low practical energy density and power density, electrolytic decomposition, instability of the cathode and high overpotentials, among others. Much research and effort has been put forth to find an optimized cathode material and an efficient electrolyte for the Li-O2 battery. Specific catalysts are also being investigated to further enhance the performance of these batteries. The characterization of the discharge products is a vital part of the research effort for the Li-O2 battery. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Raman Spectroscopy, Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), Conductive-Atomic Force Microscopy (C-AFM) and many other characterization techniques are being employed to probe the basic properties of the discharge product at the cathode. The use of C-AFM will be emphasized as the main characterization technique to carry out conductivity measurments. The investigation of the electronic, magnetic, structural, and interfacial properties of the discharge product is a very important step forward in making the use of Li-O2 batteries a reality. In this work, different techniques for improving the overall performance of the Li-O2 battery will be discussed. New catalysts and cathode materials will be presented, their effect on battery performance, and characterization of associated discharge products.