Long-Term Stability of Redox Mediators in Carbonate Solvents
Felix M. Weber, Ina Kohlhaas, Egbert Figgemeier, Molecules, Vol. 27, 07 March 2022.
Scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM) used in the feedback mode is one of the most powerful versatile analytical tools used in the field of battery research. However, the application of SECM in the field of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) faces challenges associated with the selection of a suitable redox mediator due to its high reactivity at low potentials at lithium metal or lithiated graphite electrodes. In this regard, the electrochemical/chemical stability of 2,5-di-tert-butyl-1,4-dimethoxybenzene (DBDMB) is evaluated and benchmarked with ferrocene. This investigation is systematically carried out in both linear and cyclic carbonates of the electrolyte recipe. Measurements of the bulk current with a microelectrode prove that while DBDMB decomposes in ethyl methyl carbonate (EMC)-containing electrolyte, bulk current remains stable in cyclic carbonates, ethylene carbonate (EC) and propylene carbonate (PC). Ferrocene was studied as an alternative redox mediator, showing superior electrochemical performance in ethyl methyl carbonate-containing electrolytes in terms of degradation. The resulting robustness of ferrocene with SECM is essential for a quantitative analysis of battery materials over extended periods. SECM approach curves depict practical problems when using the decomposing DBDMB for data acquisition and interpretation. This study sheds light towards the use of SECM as a probing tool enabled by redox mediators.