Modern society depends on the widespread use of reliable devices for electrochemical energy storage and conversion. Lately, a new class of rechargeable batteries has attracted considerable interest. With a theoretical specific energy of nearly 11,700 Wh kg-1, which is close to the value known for liquid fuels, rechargeable Li-O2 batteries can be considered as top candidates for electric vehicles.
The research currently carried out at the ZSW focuses on understanding the basic principles of the Li-O2 systems. One of the greatest challenges is represented by the choice of a suitable electrolyte, which may allow repeated cycling of a Li-O2 battery. In view of this, the electrochemical performance of Li-O2 batteries consisting of a non-aqueous aprotic electrolyte, a carbon-based cathode and lithium metal anode were investigated. A long chain ether, Tetraethylene glycol dimethyl ether (TEGDME), was therefore selected due to its favorable physical/chemical properties. The results obtained gave a deeper understanding about the stability of the proposed electrolyte, showing that rechargeability of Li-O2 electrochemical cells can be obtained.