Designing solid-liquid interphases for sodium batteries

Snehashis Choudhury, Shuya Wei, Yalcin Ozhabes, Deniz Gunceler, Michael J. Zachman, Zhengyuan Tu, Jung Hwan Shin, Pooja Nath, Akanksha Agrawal, Lena F. Kourkoutis, Tomas A. Arias, Lynden A. Archer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

298 Scopus citations


Secondary batteries based on earth-abundant sodium metal anodes are desirable for both stationary and portable electrical energy storage. Room-temperature sodium metal batteries are impractical today because morphological instability during recharge drives rough, dendritic electrodeposition. Chemical instability of liquid electrolytes also leads to premature cell failure as a result of parasitic reactions with the anode. Here we use joint density-functional theoretical analysis to show that the surface diffusion barrier for sodium ion transport is a sensitive function of the chemistry of solid–electrolyte interphase. In particular, we find that a sodium bromide interphase presents an exceptionally low energy barrier to ion transport, comparable to that of metallic magnesium. We evaluate this prediction by means of electrochemical measurements and direct visualization studies. These experiments reveal an approximately three-fold reduction in activation energy for ion transport at a sodium bromide interphase. Direct visualization of sodium electrodeposition confirms large improvements in stability of sodium deposition at sodium bromide-rich interphases.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 12 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUS-C1-018-02
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the Department of Energy, Advanced Research Projects Agency—Energy (ARPA-E) through award #DE-AR0000750. The work made use of electrochemical characterization facilities in the KAUST-CU Center for Energy and Sustainability, supported by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) through Award # KUS-C1-018-02. Electron microscopy facilities at the Cornell Center for Materials Research (CCMR), an NSF-supported MRSEC through Grant DMR-1120296, were also used for the study. M.J.Z. and L.F.K. acknowledge support by the NSF (DMR-1654596).
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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