"A Highly Reversible Room-Temperature Sodium Metal Anode"

Zhi Wei Seh: Jie Sun, Yongming Sun, and Yi Cui; ACS Central Science, 11/02/15.

Additional Authors: Jie Sun, Yongming Sun, and Yi Cui


Abstract Image

Owing to its low cost and high natural abundance, sodium metal is among the most promising anode materials for energy storage technologies beyond lithium ion batteries. However, room-temperature sodium metal anodes suffer from poor reversibility during long-term plating and stripping, mainly due to formation of nonuniform solid electrolyte interphase as well as dendritic growth of sodium metal. Herein we report for the first time that a simple liquid electrolyte, sodium hexafluorophosphate in glymes (mono-, di-, and tetraglyme), can enable highly reversible and nondendritic plating–stripping of sodium metal anodes at room temperature. High average Coulombic efficiencies of 99.9% were achieved over 300 plating–stripping cycles at 0.5 mA cm–2. The long-term reversibility was found to arise from the formation of a uniform, inorganic solid electrolyte interphase made of sodium oxide and sodium fluoride, which is highly impermeable to electrolyte solvent and conducive to nondendritic growth. As a proof of concept, we also demonstrate a room-temperature sodium–sulfur battery using this class of electrolytes, paving the way for the development of next-generation, sodium-based energy storage technologies.