The Use of Succinonitrile as an Electrolyte Additive for Composite-Fiber Membranes in Lithium-Ion Batteries

Jahaziel Villarreal, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Roberto Orrostieta Chavez, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Sujay A. Chopade
Timothy P. Lodge
Mataz Alcoutlabi, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

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In the present work, the effect of temperature and additives on the ionic conductivity of mixed organic/ionic liquid electrolytes (MOILEs) was investigated by conducting galvanostatic charge/discharge and ionic conductivity experiments. The mixed electrolyte is based on the ionic liquid (IL) (EMI/TFSI/LiTFSI) and organic solvents EC/DMC (1:1 v/v). The effect of electrolyte type on the electrochemical performance of a LiCoO2 cathode and a SnO2/C composite anode in lithium anode (or cathode) half-cells was also investigated. The results demonstrated that the addition of 5 wt.% succinonitrile (SN) resulted in enhanced ionic conductivity of a 60% EMI-TFSI 40% EC/DMC MOILE from ~14 mS·cm−1 to ~26 mS·cm−1 at room temperature. Additionally, at a temperature of 100 °C, an increase in ionic conductivity from ~38 to ~69 mS·cm−1 was observed for the MOILE with 5 wt% SN. The improvement in the ionic conductivity is attributed to the high polarity of SN and its ability to dissolve various types of salts such as LiTFSI. The galvanostatic charge/discharge results showed that the LiCoO2 cathode with the MOILE (without SN) exhibited a 39% specific capacity loss at the 50th cycle while the LiCoO2 cathode in the MOILE with 5 wt.% SN showed a decrease in specific capacity of only 14%. The addition of 5 wt.% SN to the MOILE with a SnO2/C composite-fiber anode resulted in improved cycling performance and rate capability of the SnO2/C composite-membrane anode in lithium anode half-cells. Based on the results reported in this work, a new avenue and promising outcome for the future use of MOILEs with SN in lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) can be opened.