Discovery of a three-proton insertion mechanism in α-molybdenum trioxide leading to enhanced charge storage capacity

Yongjiu Lei, Wenli Zhao, Jun Yin, Yinchang Ma, Zhiming Zhao, Jian Yin, Yusuf Khan, Mohamed Nejib Hedhili, Long Chen, Qingxiao Wang, Youyou Yuan, Xixiang Zhang, Osman M. Bakr, Omar F. Mohammed, Husam N. Alshareef*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The α-molybdenum trioxide has attracted much attention for proton storage owing to its easily modified bilayer structure, fast proton insertion kinetics, and high theoretical specific capacity. However, the fundamental science of the proton insertion mechanism in α-molybdenum trioxide has not been fully understood. Herein, we uncover a three-proton intercalation mechanism in α-molybdenum trioxide using a specially designed phosphoric acid based liquid crystalline electrolyte. The semiconductor-to-metal transition behavior and the expansion of the lattice interlayers of α-molybdenum trioxide after trapping one mole of protons are verified experimentally and theoretically. Further investigation of the morphology of α-molybdenum trioxide indicates its fracture behavior upon the proton intercalation process, which creates diffusion channels for hydronium ions. Notably, the observation of an additional redox behavior at low potential endows α-molybdenum trioxide with an improved specific discharge capacity of 362 mAh g−1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5490
JournalNature Communications
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy

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