Nanoscale Hybrid Electrolytes with Viscosity Controlled Using Ionic Stimulus for Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage

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As renewable energy is rapidly integrated into the grid, the challenge has become storing intermittent renewable electricity. Technologies including flow batteries and CO2 conversion to dense energy carriers are promising storage options for renewable electricity. To achieve this technological advancement, the development of next generation electrolyte materials that can increase the energy density of flow batteries and combine CO2 capture and conversion is desired. Liquid-like nanoparticle organic hybrid materials (NOHMs) composed of an inorganic core with a tethered polymeric canopy (e.g., polyetheramine (HPE)) have a capability to bind chemical species of interest including CO2 and redox-active species. In this study, the unique response of NOHM-I-HPE-based electrolytes to salt addition was investigated, including the effects on solution viscosity and structural configurations of the polymeric canopy, impacting transport behaviors. The addition of 0.1 M NaCl drastically lowered the viscosity of NOHM-based electrolytes by up to 90%, reduced the hydrodynamic diameter of NOHM-I-HPE, and increased its self-diffusion coefficient, while the ionic strength did not alter the behaviors of untethered HPE. This study is the first to fundamentally discern the changes in polymer configurations of NOHMs induced by salt addition and provides a comprehensive understanding of the effect of ionic stimulus on their bulk transport properties and local dynamics. These insights could be ultimately employed to tailor transport properties for a range of electrochemical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJACS Au
StatePublished - Mar 2 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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