Reactive oxygen species or superoxide (O2 -), which damages or ages biological cells, is generated during metabolic pathways using oxygen as an electron acceptor in biological systems. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) protects cells from superoxide-triggered apoptosis by converting superoxide to oxygen and peroxide. Lithium-oxygen battery (LOB) cells have the same aging problems caused by superoxide-triggered side reactions. We transplanted the function of SOD of biological systems into LOB cells. Malonic acid-decorated fullerene (MA-C60) was used as a superoxide disproportionation chemocatalyst mimicking the function of SOD. As expected, MA-C60 as the superoxide scavenger improved capacity retention along charge/discharge cycles successfully. A LOB cell that failed to provide a meaningful capacity just after several cycles at high current (0.5 mA cm-2) with 0.5 mAh cm-2 cutoff survived up to 50 cycles after MA-C60 was introduced to the electrolyte. Moreover, the SOD-mimetic catalyst increased capacity, e.g., more than a 6-fold increase at 0.2 mA cm-2. The experimentally observed toroidal morphology of the final discharge product of oxygen reduction (Li2O2) and density functional theory calculation confirmed that the solution mechanism of Li2O2 formation, more beneficial than the surface mechanism from the capacity-gain standpoint, was preferred in the presence of MA-C60
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by Samsung Research Funding & Incubation Center of Samsung Electronics under Project Number SRFC-MA-1802-04. S.K.K. acknowledges the computational resources from Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information (KISTI-HPC).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)