Multiple directions in battery research are now being pursued with the goal of advancing beyond the specific energy limits imposed by conventional Li-ion battery electrode materials. For example, ‘beyond Li-ion’ battery chemistries, such as Li-O2, Li-S, and Mg-ion, are currently being explored as potential successors to Li-ion batteries given their very high theoretical specific energies. Nevertheless, severe technical challenges have prohibited these potential battery chemistries from supporting practical systems. The objective of this presentation is to provide an assessment of such challenges facing the electrochemistry in nonaqueous Li-air (O2) batteries. Results will be presented on product formation mechanisms in Li-O2 batteries and how these mechanisms can be manipulated through electrolyte engineering to potentially alleviate problems associated with product deposition on the cathode.
Bryan D. McCloskey holds a joint appointment as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and as a Faculty Scientist in the Energy Storage and Distributed Resources Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. His laboratory focuses on characterization of fundamental electrochemical processes to provide guidance for the development of energy storage, electrocatalytic, and corrosion-resistant materials.