Developing highly reversible Li-CO2 battery: from on-chip exploration to practical application

Li-CO2 batteries (LCBs) hold significant potential for meeting the energy transition requirements and mitigating global CO2 emissions. However, the development of efficient LCBs is still in its early stages, necessitating highly effective electrocatalysts and a deeper understanding of their mechanisms. To address these challenges, we have designed a versatile on-chip electrochemical testing platform, which enables simultaneous catalyst screening and in-situ analysis of the chemical composition and morphological evolution of reaction products. Six different metal nanoparticle catalysts were evaluated and it was found that Pt-based LCBs demonstrated low overpotential (~0.55 V). The reaction pathways and reversible nature of the LCBs were studied using in situ electrochemical Raman spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy, and were supported by ab initio calculations. As a result of the platform studies, LCB coin cells and pouch cells were fabricated and demonstrated high capacity, stability, and energy efficiency of up to 90%. The multimodal lab-on-a-chip platform has a wide range of applications for other systems, such as metal-air batteries, electrocatalysis, fuel cells, and photoelectrochemical systems, thereby opening up new opportunities for rapid catalyst screening, mechanism investigation, and the development of practical applications.

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