Emerging Era of Electrolyte Solvation Structure and Interfacial Model in Batteries

Haoran Cheng, Qujiang Sun, Leilei Li, Yeguo Zou, Yuqi Wang, Tao Cai, Fei Zhao, Gang Liu, Zheng Ma, Wandi Wahyudi, Qian Li, Jun Ming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

249 Scopus citations


Over the past two decades, the solid–electrolyte interphase (SEI) layer that forms on an electrode’s surface has been believed to be pivotal for stabilizing the electrode’s performance in lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). However, more and more researchers currently are realizing that the metal-ion solvation structure (e.g., Li+) in electrolytes and the derived interfacial model (i.e., the desolvation process) can affect the electrode’s performance significantly. Thus, herein we summarize recent research focused on how to discover the importance of an electrolyte’s solvation structure, develop a quantitative model to describe the solvation structure, construct an interfacial model to understand the electrode’s performance, and apply these theories to the design of electrolytes. We provide a timely review on the scientific relationship between the molecular interactions of metal ions, anions, and solvents in the interfacial model and the electrode’s performance, of which the viewpoint differs from the SEI interpretations before. These discoveries may herald a new, post-SEI era due to their significance for guiding the design of LIBs and their performance improvement, as well as developing other metal-ion batteries and beyond.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)490-513
Number of pages24
JournalACS Energy Letters
StatePublished - Jan 2 2022


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