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A cold-tolerant electrolyte for lithium-metal batteries emerges

Improvements to a class of battery electrolyte first introduced in 2017 -- liquefied gas electrolytes -- could pave the way to a high-impact and long-sought advance for rechargeable batteries: replacing the graphite anode with a lithium-metal anode. One of the tantalizing aspects of these liquefied gas electrolytes is that they function both at room temperature and at extremely low temperatures, down to minus 60 C. These electrolytes are made from liquefied gas solvents -- gases that are liquefied under moderate pressures -- which are far more resistant to freezing than standard liquid electrolytes. The researchers report how, through both experimental and computational studies, they improve their understanding on some of the shortcomings of the liquefied gas electrolyte chemistry. With this knowledge, they were able to tailor their liquefied gas electrolytes for improved performance in key metrics for lithium-metal anodes, both at room temperature and minus 60 C.

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