Lithium-Ion Desolvation Induced by Nitrate Additives Reveals New Insights into High Performance Lithium Batteries

Wandi Wahyudi, Viko Ladelta, Leonidas Tsetseris, Merfat Alsabban, Xianrong Guo, Emre Yengel, Hendrik Faber, Begimai Adilbekova, Akmaral Seitkhan, Abdul-Hamid Emwas, Mohamed N. Hedhili, Lain-Jong Li, Vincent Tung, Nikos Hadjichristidis, Thomas D. Anthopoulos, Jun Ming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


Electrolyte additives have been widely used to address critical issues in current metal (ion) battery technologies. While their functions as solid electrolyte interface forming agents are reasonably well-understood, their interactions in the liquid electrolyte environment remain rather elusive. This lack of knowledge represents a significant bottleneck that hinders the development of improved electrolyte systems. Here, the key role of additives in promoting cation (e.g., Li+) desolvation is unraveled. In particular, nitrate anions (NO3−) are found to incorporate into the solvation shells, change the local environment of cations (e.g., Li+) as well as their coordination in the electrolytes. The combination of these effects leads to effective Li+ desolvation and enhanced battery performance. Remarkably, the inexpensive NaNO3 can successfully substitute the widely used LiNO3 offering superior long-term stability of Li+ (de-)intercalation at the graphite anode and suppressed polysulfide shuttle effect at the sulfur cathode, while enhancing the performance of lithium–sulfur full batteries (initial capacity of 1153 mAh g−1 at 0.25C) with Coulombic efficiency of ≈100% over 300 cycles. This work provides important new insights into the unexplored effects of additives and paves the way to developing improved electrolytes for electrochemical energy storage applications.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2101593
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
StatePublished - Apr 2 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-04-05
Acknowledgements: W.W. and V.L. contributed equally to this work. This work was supported by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)and KAUST Solar Centre. L.T. acknowledges computational time at the GRNET HPC facility ARIS through project pr007037-STEM-2. J.M. also thanks the great support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21978281).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Electrochemistry
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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