Improving Cell Resistance and Cycle Life with Solvate-Coated Thiophosphate Solid Electrolytes in Lithium Batteries

Maria A. Philip, Patrick T. Sullivan, Ruixian Zhang, Griffin A. Wooley, Stephanie A. Kohn, Andrew A. Gewirth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Solid electrolytes (SEs) have become a practical option for lithium ion and lithium metal batteries because of their improved safety over commercially available ionic liquids. The most promising of the SEs are the thiophosphates, whose excellent ionic conductivities at room temperature are comparable to those of commercially utilized ionic liquids. Hybrid solid-liquid electrolytes exhibit higher ionic conductivities than their bare SE counterparts because of decreased grain boundary resistance, enhanced interfacial contact with electrodes, and decreased degradation at the interface. In this study, we add lithium bis(trifluoromethane sulfonyl)imide and a highly fluorinated ether solvate electrolyte to the surface of Li 7 P 3 S 11 (LPS) and Li 10 GeP 2 S 12 (LGPS) pellets and evaluate their overall cell resistance in Li-Li symmetric cells relative to their bare Li/SE/Li counterparts. Time-resolved electrochemical impedance spectroscopy shows an order of magnitude lower cell resistance for LGPS-solvate than for bare LGPS. In contrast, the LPS-solvate system exhibits a higher cell resistance than bare LPS. Scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy show that LGPS allows for the total permeation of the solvate into the bulk SE. Although LPS has smaller grain sizes and higher porosity, it has a higher solubility in 1,1,2,2-tetrafluoroethyl 2,2,3,3-tetrafluoropropyl ether (TTE), which results in an LPS-TTE interlayer on the surface of the pellet, thereby increasing overall cell resistance. Cyclic voltammetry of the bare and hybrid SE cells shows an order of magnitude higher current density for the LGPS-solvate cell over the bare LGPS. Bare LPS shorts after two cycles, whereas the LPS-solvate cell does not short within the timeframe of the experiment (100 cycles). This study suggests that solvates can be used to improve the cell resistance and current density of SEs by altering the grain boundary structures and the interphase between electrode and electrolyte.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2014-2021
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 16 2019


  • CV
  • EIS
  • Solid electrolyte
  • highly fluorinated ether
  • hybrid electrolyte
  • solvate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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