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Title: Development of electrolyte salts for multivalent ion batteries
Author: Keyzer, Evan
ISNI:       0000 0004 7660 904X
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2019
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This dissertation focuses on the synthesis and electrochemical testing of new electrolyte salts for rechargeable multivalent ion batteries. In chapters 2 and 3 the synthesis of Mg and Ca hexafluoropnictogenate salts as well as the electrochemical behaviour of Mg(PF6)2 is presented. Pure samples of Mg(EF6)2 (E = P, As, and Sb) can be synthesized using Mg metal and NOPF6/NOSbF6 in CH3CN or via a ammonium salt deprotonation route using Me3NHAsF6 and Bu2Mg. The NOPF6 method was extended to the Ca variant, but isolation of a pure Ca(PF6)2 material required the presence of a crown ether. Electrochemical and microscopy measurements of THF-CH3CN solutions of Mg(PF6)2 show that the electrolyte good electrochemical stability and can facilitate the plating/stripping of Mg. Further, this electrolyte system can be cycled in a full cell using the Chevrel phase Mo6S8 cathode. The electrochemical stability of the AsF6− and SbF6− salts is lower than that of the PF6− salt and electrolyte decomposition is observed when cycling on Mg electrodes. In chapter 4 the development of a series of Mg aluminates [Mg(AlOR4)2] using a general synthetic platform based on Mg(AlH4)2 and various alcohols is presented. Preliminary electrochemical studies performed on these aluminate salts in dimethoxyethane identify the phenoxy and perfluoro-tert-butoxy derivatives as promising electrolyte systems. Electrochemical cycling of these electrolytes using gold and Mg electrodes show that systems containing chloride, brought through to the product from the starting material in the form of NaCl, exhibit lower plating/stripping overpotentials and higher Coulombic efficiencies than systems from which chloride had been removed. Further, these two electrolytes can be used in Mg full cells containing the Chevrel phase cathode. Solid-state 23Na NMR analysis as well as DFT calculations show that chloride-containing electrolytes facilitate the co-insertion of Na into the cathode material. In chapter 5 the hydroboration of pyridines and CO2 in the presence of pinacolborane is presented. An optimized system employing NH4BPh4 and HBpin is developed and a mechanism of pyridine hydroboration is proposed based on multinuclear NMR spectroscopy. The catalytic reaction was found to be catalyzed by a boronium salt, which was structurally characterized in the solid-state by single crystal X-ray diffraction. This new catalytic method is shown to be tolerant to a number of functional groups in the 3-position on pyridine as well as quinoline, and CO2, producing the hydroboration products in good yields.
Supervisor: Wright, Dominic ; Grey, Clare Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Battery ; Magnesium ; Salt ; Electrochemistry ; Synthesis