Synergistic theoretical and experimental study on the ion dynamics of bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide-based alkali metal salts for solid polymer electrolytes

BA Fortuin and J Otegi and JML del Amo and SR Peña and L Meabe and H Manzano and M Martíinez-Ibañez and J Carrasco, PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 25, 25038-25054 (2023).

DOI: 10.1039/d3cp02989a

Model validation of a well-known class of solid polymer electrolyte (SPE) is utilized to predict the ionic structure and ion dynamics of alternative alkali metal ions, leading to advancements in Na-, K-, and Cs-based SPEs for solid-state alkali metal batteries. A comprehensive study based on molecular dynamics (MD) is conducted to simulate ion coordination and the ion transport properties of poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) with lithium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide (LiTFSI) salt across various LiTFSI concentrations. Through validation of the MD simulation results with experimental techniques, we gain a deeper understanding of the ionic structure and dynamics in the PEO/LiTFSI system. This computational approach is then extended to predict ion coordination and transport properties of alternative alkali metal ions. The ionic structure in PEO/LiTFSI is significantly influenced by the LiTFSI concentration, resulting in different lithium-ion transport mechanisms for highly concentrated or diluted systems. Substituting lithium with sodium, potassium, and cesium reveals a weaker cation-PEO coordination for the larger cesium-ion. However, sodium-ion based SPEs exhibit the highest cation transport number, indicating the crucial interplay between salt dissociation and cation-PEO coordination for achieving optimal performance in alkali metal SPEs. Combining experimental and computational techniques to perform a model validation study of a well-known class of solid polymer electrolyte (SPE) towards predicting the performance of alternative alkali metal-based SPEs for solid-state alkali metal batteries.

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