Skip to main content

Molecular Interactions and Dynamics at Solid Electrolyte Interfaces

EMSL Project ID


We will carry out a systematic study on molecular interactions and dynamics at solid electrolyte interfaces (SEIs) of Li-ion batteries using primarily in situ quantitative nonlinear optical spectroscopy measurements. The objectives of this study are 3 fold: (1) to establish molecular-level metrology for characterizing SEI structures and compositions in situ; (2) to unravel molecular mechanisms governing the reactivity and interactions of various molecules at the interface; (3) to develop quantitative metrics for assessing the performance of Li-ion battery via in situ measurements. Furthermore, a general theoretical framework will be developed and validated on the basis of quantitative measurements. Combined experimental and theoretical studies of the basic materials systems will cast new insights in molecular interaction and reactivity at electrode/electrolyte interfaces, which will be critical for the design and development of next generation batteries. This study aligns with the EMSL scientific theme of Science of Interfacial Phenomena, specifically, 'In situ real-time investigations of dynamical processes at surfaces or interfaces'. EMSL's state of the art measurement capability, particularly the nonlinear optical spectroscopy, provides the only feasible means for the proposed study.

Project Details

Project type
Large-Scale EMSL Research
Start Date
End Date


Principal Investigator

Howard Wang
State University of New York at Binghamton

Team Members

Priyanka Bhattacharya
University of Dayton Research Institute

Hui Zhan
Wuhan University

Xilin Chen
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Liwen Ji
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Meng Gu
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Jie Xiao
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Xiaolin Li
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Hongfei Wang
Fudan University

Wu Xu
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Jiguang Zhang
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Yuyan Shao
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Jun Liu
Yale University

Yongsoon Shin
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Related Publications

Cao Y, L Xiao, ML Sushko, W Wang, B Schwenzer, J Xiao, Z Nie, LV Saraf, Z Yang, and J Liu. 2012. "Sodium Ion Insertion in Hollow Carbon Nanowires for Battery Applications." Nano Letters 12(7):3783–3787. doi:10.1021/nl3016957
Chen X, W Xu, J Xiao, MH Engelhard, F Ding, D Mei, D Hu, J Zhang, and J Zhang. 2012. "Effects of cell positive cans and separators on the performance of high-voltage Li-ion batteries." Journal of Power Sources 213:160-168.
Ding F, W Xu, D Choi, W Wang, X Li, MH Engelhard, X Chen, Z Yang, and J Zhang. 2012. "Enhanced performance of graphite anode materials by AlF3 coating for lithium-ion batteries." Journal of Materials Chemistry 22(25):12745-12751. doi:10.1039/c2jm31015e
Ding F, W Xu, GL Graff, J Zhang, ML Sushko, X Chen, Y Shao, MH Engelhard, Z Nie, J Xiao, X Liu, PV Sushko, J Liu, and J Zhang. 2013. "Dendrite-Free Lithium Deposition via Self-Healing Electrostatic Shield Mechanism ." Journal of the American Chemical Society 135(11):4450-4456. doi:10.1021/ja312241y
Ding F, W Xu, X Chen, J Zhang, MH Engelhard, Y Zhang, BR Johnson, JV Crum, TA Blake, X Liu, and J Zhang. 2013. "Effects of Carbonate Solvents and Lithium Salts on Morphology and Coulombic Efficiency of Lithium Electrode." Journal of the Electrochemical Society 160(10):A1894-A1901. doi:10.1149/2.100310jes
Moon GH, Y Shin, BW Arey, CM Wang, GJ Exarhos, W Choi, and J Liu. 2012. "Carbon dioxide-assisted fabrication of highly uniform submicron-sized colloidal carbon spheres via hydrothermal carbonization using soft drink." Colloid and Polymer Science 290(15):1567-1573. doi:10.1007/s00396-012-2729-4
Nasybulin EN, W Xu, MH Engelhard, XS Li, M Gu, D Hu, and J Zhang. 2013. "Electrocatalytic properties of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) in Li-O2 battery." Electrochemistry Communications 29:63-66. doi:10.1016/j.elecom.2013.01.011
Nasybulin EN, W Xu, MH Engelhard, Z Nie, SD Burton, L Cosimbescu, ME Gross, and J Zhang. 2013. "Effects of electrolyte salts on the performance of Li-O2 batteries." Journal of Physical Chemistry C 117(6):2635-2645. doi:10.1021/jp311114u
Pan A, J Liu, J Zhang, W Xu, GH Cao, Z Nie, BW Arey, and S Liang. 2010. "Nano-Structured Li3V2(PO4)3 /Carbon Composite for High Rate Lithium Ion Batteries." Electrochemistry Communications 12(12):1674-1677. doi:10.1016/j.elecom.2010.09.014
Pan A, J Zhang, Z Nie, GH Cao, BW Arey, G Li, S Liang, and J Liu. 2010. "Facile synthesized nanorod structured vanadium pentoxide for high-rate lithium batteries." Journal of Materials Chemistry 20(41):9193-9199. doi:10.1039/C0JM01306D
Xiao J, X Chen, PV Sushko, ML Sushko, L Kovarik, J Feng, Z Deng, J Zheng, GL Graff, Z Nie, D Choi, J Liu, J Zhang, and MS Whittingham. 2012. "High-Performance LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4 Spinel Controlled by Mn3+ Concentration and Site Disorder." Advanced Materials 24(16):2109-2116. doi:10.1002/adma.201104767
Xiao L, Y Cao, J Xiao, B Schwenzer, MH Engelhard, LV Saraf, Z Nie, GJ Exarhos, and J Liu. 2012. "A Soft Approach to Encapsulate Sulfur: Polyaniline Nanotubes for Lithium-Sulfur Batteries with Long Cycle Life." Advanced Materials 24(9):1176–1181. doi:10.1002/adma.201103392
Xu W, A Read, PK Koech, D Hu, C Wang, J Xiao, AB Padmaperuma, GL Graff, J Liu, and J-G Zhang. 2012. "Factors Affecting the Battery Performance of Anthraquinone-Based Organic Cathode Materials." Journal of Materials Chemistry 22(9):4032-4039
Xu W, JZ Hu, MH Engelhard, SA Towne, JS Hardy, J Xiao, J Feng, MY Hu, J Zhang, F Ding, ME Gross, and J Zhang. 2012. "The Stability of Organic Solvents and Carbon Electrode in Nonaqueous Li-O2 Batteries." Journal of Power Sources 215:240-247. doi:10.1016/j.jpowsour.2012.05.021