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Direct Correlation of the Salt-Reduced Diffusivities of Organic Solvents with the Solvent’s Mole Fraction...

Publication Type
Journal Name
The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Publication Date
Page Numbers
2845 to 2850

Lithium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide (LiTFSI) in organic solvents (especially propylene carbonate) has demonstrated extraordinary pseudocapacitive performance as an electrolyte in the supercapacitor configuration ( Nat. Energy 2019, 4, 241−248). However, the influence of the solvated ions on the diffusivity of the solvent molecules is yet to be understood. We examine the impact of LiTFSI on the diffusivity in five organic solvents: acetonitrile (ACN), tetrahydrofuran (THF), methanol (MeOH), dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), and propylene carbonate (PC) using a combination of neutron scattering, conductivity measurements, and molecular dynamics simulations. The extent of the diffusivity reduction in the concentration regime of ≤1 M directly correlates with the solvent mole fraction at which the solvation shells around Li+ ions are of similar size in all the solvents, resulting in a universal ∼50% reduction in the solvent diffusivity. These results provide guidance for formulation of the new electrolytes to enhance the performance of energy storage devices.