Synthesis and physicochemical characterization of room temperature ionic liquids and their application in sodium ion batteries†
Sodium ion batteries (SIBs) based on IL electrolytes have attracted great attention, particularly in large-scale energy storage systems for renewable energy due to the abundance of sodium and the excellent safety resulting from the use of non-flammable ionic liquid (IL) electrolytes. In this article, a series of 15 functionalized room temperature ionic liquids (RTILs) suitable as electrolytes is presented. Special emphasis was laid on the purity of the synthesized RTILs and a consistent and uniform characterization of their physicochemical properties. Evaluation of the viscosity, conductivity, and thermal and electrochemical stabilities resulted in clear structure–property relationships, rendering the ether functionalized RTILs most promising for application in SIBs. Electrochemical investigations of the ether functionalized IL electrolytes in SIB half cells (Na0.6Mn0.9Co0.1O2 as cathode material) proved their compatibility with a SIB system. Stable cycling performance was achieved with the piperidinium based RTIL IL 6 outperforming the organic electrolyte by far with a retention of 81% after 350 cycles. These results show the suitability of RTILs to enhance the performance of SIB systems and serve as a basis for the design of high performance IL electrolytes.