The lightest organic radical cation for charge storage in redox flow batteries

Jinhua Huang, Baofei Pan, Wentao Duan, Xiaoliang Wei, Rajeev S. Assary, Liang Su, Fikile R. Brushett, Lei Cheng, Chen Liao, Magali S. Ferrandon, Wei Wang, Zhengcheng Zhang, Anthony K. Burrell, Larry A. Curtiss, Ilya A. Shkrob, Jeffrey S. Moore, Lu Zhang

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Abstract

In advanced electrical grids of the future, electrochemically rechargeable fluids of high energy density will capture the power generated from intermittent sources like solar and wind. To meet this outstanding technological demand there is a need to understand the fundamental limits and interplay of electrochemical potential, stability, and solubility in low-weight redox-active molecules. By generating a combinatorial set of 1,4-dimethoxybenzene derivatives with different arrangements of substituents, we discovered a minimalistic structure that combines exceptional long-term stability in its oxidized form and a record-breaking intrinsic capacity of 161 mAh/g. The nonaqueous redox flow battery has been demonstrated that uses this molecule as a catholyte material and operated stably for 100 charge/discharge cycles. The observed stability trends are rationalized by mechanistic considerations of the reaction pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number32102
JournalScientific reports
Volume6
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 25 2016

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Huang, J., Pan, B., Duan, W., Wei, X., Assary, R. S., Su, L., Brushett, F. R., Cheng, L., Liao, C., Ferrandon, M. S., Wang, W., Zhang, Z., Burrell, A. K., Curtiss, L. A., Shkrob, I. A., Moore, J. S., & Zhang, L. (2016). The lightest organic radical cation for charge storage in redox flow batteries. Scientific reports, 6, [32102]. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep32102