Acta Physico-Chimica Sinica ›› 2020, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (11): 1912068.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB201912068

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Natural Polyphenol Tannic Acid as an Efficient Electrolyte Additive for High Performance Lithium Metal Anode

Qin Ran1, Tianyang Sun1, Chongyu Han1, Haonan Zhang2, Jian Yan2, Jinglun Wang1,*()   

  1. 1 Key Laboratory of Theoretical Organic Chemistry and Functional Molecule, Ministry of Education, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Hunan University of Science and Technology, Xiangtan 411201, Hunan Province, P. R. China
    2 Soundon New Energy Technology Co. Ltd., Xiangtan 411201, Hunan Province, P. R. China
  • Received:2019-12-27 Accepted:2020-03-06 Published:2020-03-17
  • Contact: Jinglun Wang
  • Supported by:
    the Doctoral Foundation of Hunan University of Science and Technology, China(E518B1);2019 Undergraduate Student Scientific Research Innovation Plan "Challenge Cup Project" of Hunan University of Science and Technology, China(TZ9003)


As the application of lithium-ion batteries in advanced consumer electronics, energy storage systems, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and electric vehicles increases, there has emerged an urgent need for increasing the energy density of such batteries. Lithium metal anode is considered as the "Holy Grail" for high-energy-density electrochemical energy storage systems because of its low reduction potential (-3.04 V vs standard hydrogen electrode) and high theoretical specific capacity (3860 mAh·g-1). However, the practical application of lithium metal anode in rechargeable batteries is severely limited by irregular lithium dendrite growth and high reactivity with the electrolytes, leading to poor safety performance and low coulombic efficiency. Recent research progress has been well documented to suppress dendrite growth for achieving long-term stability of lithium anode, such as building artificial protection layers, developing novel electrolyte additives, constructing solid electrolytes, using functional separator, designing composite electrode or three-dimensional lithium-hosted material. Among them, the use of electrolyte additives is regarded as one of the most effective and economical methods to improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries. As a natural polyphenol compound, tannic acid (TA) is significantly cheaper and more abundant compared with dopamine, which is widely used for the material preparation and modification in the field of lithium-ion batteries. Herein, TA is first reported as an efficient electrolyte film-forming additive for lithium metal anode. By adding 0.15% (mass fraction, wt.) TA into the base electrolyte of 1 mol·L-1 LiPF6-EC/DMC/EMC (1 : 1 : 1, by wt.), the symmetric Li|Li cell exhibited a more stable cyclability of 270 h than that of only 170 h observed for the Li|Li cell without TA under the same current density of 1 mA·cm-2 and capacity of 1 mAh·cm-2 (with a cutoff voltage of 0.1 V). Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, cyclic voltammetry (CV), and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) analyses demonstrated that TA participated in the formation of a dense solid electrolyte interface (SEI) layer on the surface of the lithium metal. A possible reaction mechanism is proposed here, wherein the small amount of added polyphenol compound could have facilitated the formation of LiF through the hydrolysis of LiPF6, following which the resulting phenoxide could react with dimethyl carbonate (DMC) through transesterification to form a cross-linked polymer, thereby forming a unique organic/inorganic composite SEI film that significantly improved the electrochemical performance of the lithium metal anode. These results demonstrate that TA can be used as a promising film-forming additive for the lithium metal anode.

Key words: Tannic acid, Electrolyte additive, Solid electrolyte interface, Lithium metal anode


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