Research Article

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2017, 10(2): 472–482

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https://doi.org/10.1007/s12274-016-1306-4

Three-dimensional graphene membrane cathode for high energy density rechargeable lithium-air batteries in ambient conditions

Xing Zhong1,§, Benjamin Papandrea1,§, Yuxi Xu1,§, Zhaoyang Lin1, Hua Zhang3, Yuan Liu3, Yu Huang2,3, and Xiangfeng Duan1,2 (*)

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1 Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
2 California Nanosystems Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
3 Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
§ These authors contributed equally to this work.

Keywords: energy storage, graphene framework, three-dimensional (3D)-network, lithium air-battery, water resistive
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ABSTRACT Lithium-air batteries have attracted significant interest for applications in high energy density mobile power supplies, yet there are considerable challenges to the development of rechargeable Li-air batteries with stable cycling performance under ambient conditions. Here we report a three-dimensional (3D) hydrophobic graphene membrane as a moisture-resistive cathode for high performance Li-air batteries. The 3D graphene membrane features a highly interconnected graphene network for efficient charge transport, a highly porous structure for efficient diffusion of oxygen and electrolyte ions, a large specific surface area for high capacity storage of the insulating discharge product, and a network of highly tortuous hydrophobic channels for O2/H2O selectivity. These channels facilitate O2 ingression while retarding moisture diffusion and ensure excellent charge/ discharge cycling stability under ambient conditions. The membrane can thus enable robust Li-air batteries with exceptional performance, including a maximum cathode capacity that exceeds 5,700 mAh/g and excellent recharge cycling behavior (>2,000 cycles at 140 mAh/g, and >100 cycles at 1,400 mAh/g). The graphene membrane air cathode can deliver a lifetime capacity of 100,000–300,000 mAh/g, comparable to that of a typical lithium ion battery cathode. The stable operation of Li-air batteries with significantly improved single charge capacities and lifetime capacities comparable to those of Li-ion batteries may offer an attractive high energy density storage alternative for future mobile power supplies. These batteries may provide much longer battery lives and greatly reduced recharge frequency.
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Three-dimensional graphene membrane cathode for high energy density rechargeable lithium-air batteries in ambient conditions. Nano Res. 2017, 10(2): 472–482 https://doi.org/10.1007/s12274-016-1306-4

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