Electrolytes are an essential component of all electrochemical storage and conversion devices, such as batteries. In the history of battery development, the complex nature of electrolytes has often been a bottleneck. Fundamental knowledge of electrolyte systems encompasses elucidation of structure–property relationships of the solution species. Recently, nanometric aggregates have been observed in several classes of electrolytes, including super-concentrated, redox-flow, multivalent, polymer, and ionic liquid-based electrolytes. Compared with the well-studied local solvation structures such as contact ion pairs and solvent-separated ions, these aggregates impose unique effects on the ion distribution and transport both within bulk electrolytes and at electrode/electrolyte interfaces. This Perspective highlights the discovery of the aggregates in various battery electrolytes and their impact on electrolyte properties. We also present an outlook for future studies of this emerging field of nanometric aggregates and the need for the development of new experimental and computational tools to study their properties.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemistry (miscellaneous)
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Fuel Technology
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Materials Chemistry