Jump to main content
Jump to site search
Access to RSC content Close the message box

Continue to access RSC content when you are not at your institution. Follow our step-by-step guide.



Understanding the electrochemistry of “water-in-salt” electrolytes: basal plane highly ordered pyrolytic graphite as a model system

Author affiliations

Abstract

A new approach to expand the accessible voltage window of electrochemical energy storage systems, based on so-called “water-in-salt” electrolytes, has been expounded recently. Although studies of transport in concentrated electrolytes date back over several decades, the recent demonstration that concentrated aqueous electrolyte systems can be used in the lithium ion battery context has rekindled interest in the electrochemical properties of highly concentrated aqueous electrolytes. The original aqueous lithium ion battery conception was based on the use of concentrated solutions of lithium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide, although these electrolytes still possess some drawbacks including cost, toxicity, and safety. In this work we describe the electrochemical behavior of a simple 1 : 1 electrolyte based on highly concentrated aqueous solutions of potassium fluoride (KF). Highly ordered pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) is used as well-defined model carbon to study the electrochemical properties of the electrolyte, as well as its basal plane capacitance, from a microscopic perspective: the KF electrolyte exhibits an unusually wide potential window (up to 2.6 V). The faradaic response on HOPG is also reported using K3Fe(CN)6 as a model redox probe: the highly concentrated electrolyte provides good electrochemical reversibility and protects the HOPG surface from adsorption of contaminants. Moreover, this electrolyte was applied to symmetrical supercapacitors (using graphene and activated carbon as active materials) in order to quantify its performance in energy storage applications. It is found that the activated carbon and graphene supercapacitors demonstrate high gravimetric capacitance (221 F g−1 for activated carbon, and 56 F g−1 for graphene), a stable working voltage window of 2.0 V, which is significantly higher than the usual range of water-based capacitors, and excellent stability over 10 000 cycles. These results provide fundamental insight into the wider applicability of highly concentrated electrolytes, which should enable their application in future of energy storage technologies.

Graphical abstract: Understanding the electrochemistry of “water-in-salt” electrolytes: basal plane highly ordered pyrolytic graphite as a model system

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
26 Mar 2020
Accepted
05 Jun 2020
First published
08 Jun 2020

This article is Open Access
All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

Chem. Sci., 2020, Advance Article
Article type
Edge Article

Understanding the electrochemistry of “water-in-salt” electrolytes: basal plane highly ordered pyrolytic graphite as a model system

P. Iamprasertkun, A. Ejigu and R. A. W. Dryfe, Chem. Sci., 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/D0SC01754J

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material.

Reproduced material should be attributed as follows:

  • For reproduction of material from NJC:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
  • For reproduction of material from PCCP:
    [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
  • For reproduction of material from PPS:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
  • For reproduction of material from all other RSC journals:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Information about reproducing material from RSC articles with different licences is available on our Permission Requests page.


Social activity

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements