Langmuir, Vol.31, No.33, 9236-9245, 2015
Surface Study of Lithium-Air Battery Oxygen Cathodes in Different Solvent-Electrolyte pairs
The O-2/Li2O2 electrode reaction has been studied on low surface area Au electrodes in three solvent electrolyte pairs (0.1 M LiPF6/DMSO, LiPF6/ACN, and LiBF4/ACN) using an electrochemical cell coupled to UHV XPS spectrometer, EQCM, AFM, and DBMS. The XPS spectra of the surfaces after treatment at selected electrode potentials for the O-2 reduction and reoxidation of the surface show the presence of C and S from solvent decomposition and of F and P from electrolyte decomposition. Furthermore, Li is and O is peaks due to Li2O2 and decomposition products such as carbonate, organics, LiF, high oxidation sulfur, and phosphorus compounds were also observed. Using ACN instead of DMSO results in less solvent decomposition, whereas using LiBF4 results in less electrolyte decomposition. XPS, AFM, and EQCM show that O-2 reduction products removal only takes place at very high overpotentials. In agreement with XPS which shows removal of carbonate surface species, DEMS confirms evolution of CO2 and consumption of O-2 at 4.5 V, but LiF cannot be removed completely in a round trip of the Li-O-2 battery cathode.