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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2024
  2. Abstract

    Redox‐active polymers (RAPs) are promising organic electrode materials for affordable and sustainable batteries due to their flexible chemical structures and negligible solubility in the electrolyte. Developing high‐dimensional RAPs with porous structures and crosslinkers can further improve their stability and redox capability by reducing the solubility and enhancing reaction kinetics. This work reports two three‐dimensional (3D) RAPs as stable organic cathodes in Na‐ion batteries (NIBs) and K‐ion batteries (KIBs). Carbonyl functional groups are incorporated into the repeating units of the RAPs by the polycondensation of Tetrakis(4‐aminophenyl)methane and two different dianhydrides. The RAPs with interconnected 3D extended conjugation structures undergo multi‐electron redox reactions and exhibit high performance in both NIBs and KIBs in terms of long cycle life (up to 8000 cycles) and fast charging capability (up to 2 A g−1). The results demonstrate that developing 3D RAPs is an effective strategy to achieve high‐performance, affordable, and sustainable NIBs and KIBs.

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  3. Abstract

    This paper presents a stochastic three-dimensional focused transport simulation of solar energetic particles (SEPs) produced by a data-driven coronal mass ejection (CME) shock propagating through a data-driven model of coronal and heliospheric magnetic fields. The injection of SEPs at the CME shock is treated using diffusive shock acceleration of post-shock suprathermal solar wind ions. A time-backward stochastic simulation is employed to solve the transport equation to obtain the SEP time–intensity profile at any location, energy, and pitch angle. The model is applied to a SEP event on 2020 May 29, observed by STEREO-A close to ∼1 au and by Parker Solar Probe (PSP) when it was about 0.33 au away from the Sun. The SEP event was associated with a very slow CME with a plane-of-sky speed of 337 km s−1at a height below 6RSas reported in the SOHO/LASCO CME catalog. We compute the time profiles of particle flux at PSP and STEREO-A locations, and estimate both the spectral index of the proton energy spectrum for energies between ∼2 and 16 MeV and the equivalent path length of the magnetic field lines experienced by the first arriving SEPs. We find that the simulation results are well correlated with observations. The SEP event could be explained by the acceleration of particles by a weak CME shock in the low solar corona that is not magnetically connected to the observers.

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  4. Abstract Realization of practical sodium metal batteries (SMBs) is hindered due to lack of compatible electrolyte components, dendrite propagation, and poor understanding of anodic interphasial chemistries. Chemically robust liquid electrolytes that facilitate both favorable sodium metal deposition and a stable solid‐electrolyte interphase (SEI) are ideal to enable sodium metal and anode‐free cells. Herein we present advanced characterization of a novel fluorine‐free electrolyte utilizing the [HCB 11 H 11 ] 1− anion. Symmetrical Na cells operated with this electrolyte exhibit a remarkably low overpotential of 0.032 V at a current density of 2.0 mA cm −2 and a high coulombic efficiency of 99.5 % in half‐cell configurations. Surface characterization of electrodes post‐operation reveals the absence of dendritic sodium nucleation and a surprisingly stable fluorine‐free SEI. Furthermore, weak ion‐pairing is identified as key towards the successful development of fluorine‐free sodium electrolytes. 
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  5. Abstract

    Developing low‐voltage carboxylate anode materials is critical for achieving low‐cost, high‐performance, and sustainable Na‐ion batteries (NIBs). However, the structure design rationale and structure‐performance correlation for organic carboxylates in NIBs remains elusive. Herein, the spatial effect on the performance of carboxylate anode materials is studied by introducing heteroatoms in the conjugation structure and manipulating the positions of carboxylate groups in the aromatic rings. Planar and twisted organic carboxylates are designed and synthesized to gain insight into the impact of geometric structures to the electrochemical performance of carboxylate anodes in NIBs. Among the carboxylates, disodium 2,2’‐bipyridine‐5,5’‐dicarboxylate (2255‐Na) with a planar structure outperforms the others in terms of highest specific capacity (210 mAh g−1), longest cycle life (2000 cycles), and best rate capability (up to 5 A g−1). The cyclic stability and redox mechanism of 2255‐Na in NIBs are exploited by various characterization techniques. Moreover, high‐temperature (up to 100 °C) and all‐organic batteries based on a 2255‐Na anode, a polyaniline (PANI) cathode, and an ether‐based electrolyte are achieved and exhibited exceptional electrochemical performance. Therefore, this work demonstrates that designing organic carboxylates with extended planar conjugation structures is an effective strategy to achieve high‐performance and sustainable NIBs.

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  6. Sodium‐on batteries (SIBs) are promising alternatives to lithium‐ion batteries (LIBs) because of the low cost, abundance, and high sustainability of sodium resources. Analogous to LIBs, the high‐capacity electrodes in SIBs always suffer from rapid capacity decay upon long‐term cycling due to the particle pulverization induced by a large volume change. Circumventing particle pulverization plays a critical role in developing high‐energy and long‐life SIBs. Herein, tetrahydroxy‐1,4‐benzoquinone disodium salt (TBDS) that can self‐heal the cracks by hydrogen bonding between hydroxyl group and carbonyl group is employed as a cathode for sustainable and stable SIBs. The self‐healing TBDS exhibits long cycle life of 1000 cycles with a high rate capability up to 2 A g−1due to the fast Na‐ion diffusion reaction in the TBDS cathode. The intermolecular hydrogen bonding has been comprehensively characterized to understand the self‐healing mechanism. The hydrogen bonding‐enabled self‐healing organic materials are promising for developing high‐energy and long‐cycle‐life SIBs.

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