Our modern society has witnessed an unprecedented improvement with the rise of consumer electronics and electric vehicles. But this comes at the price of an unprecedented demand of energy, especially electrical energy, which is expected to be more amplified with the emergence of innovative physical assets such as Internet of Thing, robotics and other autonomous connected devices. Today, Li-ion batteries are the main power source to fuel all this technological sector with already billions of battery cells sold every year. Unfortunately, the scarcity of main transition metal used thus far in batteries (e.g., Cobalt), coupled with high-energy consuming synthesis processes at the core of the manufacturing chain of commercialized Li-ion batteries, put serious question marks on their cost and environmental footprint.
Thanks to their naturally abundant elements (C, H, N, O and S), possibility of being generated from renewable resources (biomass) and ease of recycling, organic molecules promise a credible alternative towards low-cost eco-friendly energy storage systems. Since 2008, tremendous progress has been made on this direction leading to a plethora of organic molecules and architectures ready-to-be integrated in organic battery cells. However, in order to be competitive with the current Li-ion battery, the organic battery remains deeply challenged by the lack of a high voltage, Li-containing and air stable organic material for application in the positive electrode.
In a recent study published in Nature Material, a team from IMCN proposed a new organic battery materials class based on conjugated sulfonamides (CSA). This chemistry shows promising battery performances, namely excellent stability of its Li-containing state toward ambient atmosphere (neither oxidation nor hydrolysis) and a high operating potential (> 3 V vs. Li+/Li). Several CSA chemistries have demonstrated reversible charge storage ability at potentials ranging from 2.8 to 3.45 V vs. Li+/Li coupled with excellent cycling stability reaching 1000 cycles. With this important result on hand, next step is to reach the 4 V – class organic battery chemistries which is already in progress thanks to transposition of validated strategies on other organic redox classes.
Conjugated sulfonamides as a class of organic lithium-ion positive electrodes
Jiande Wang, Alae Eddine Lakraychi, Xuelian Liu, Louis Sieuw, Cristian Morari, Philippe Poizot & Alexandru Vlad
The content can be accessed at – https://www.nature.com/articles/s41563-020-00869-1