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  1. 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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  2. null (Ed.)
    Composite polymer electrolytes (CPEs) for solid-state Li metal batteries (SSLBs) still suffer from gradually increased interface resistance and unconstrained Li dendrite growth. Herein, we addressed the challenges by designing a LiF-rich inorganic solid-electrolyte interphase (SEI) through introducing a fluoride-salt concentrated interlayer on CPE film. The rigid and flexible CPE helps accommodate the volume change of electrodes, while the polymeric high-concentrated electrolyte (PHCE) surface-layer regulates Li-ion flux due to the formation of a stable LiF-rich SEI via anion reduction. The designed CPE-PHCE presents enhanced ionic conductivity and high oxidation stability of > 5.0V (vs. Li/Li+). What’s more, it dramatically reduces the interfacial resistance and achieves a high critical current density of 4.5 mA cm-2 for dendrite-free cycling. The SSLBs, fabricated with thin CPE-PHCE membrane (< 100 μm) and Co-free LiNiO2 cathode, exhibit exceptional electrochemical performance and long cycling stability. This approach of SEI design can also be applied to other types of batteries. 
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  3. Abstract

    Solid polymer electrolytes (SPEs) have the potential to meet evolving Li‐ion battery demands, but for these electrolytes to satisfy growing power and energy density requirements, both transport properties and electrochemical stability must be improved. Unfortunately, improvement in one of these properties often comes at the expense of the other. To this end, a “hybrid aqueous/ionic liquid” SPE (HAILSPE) which incorporates triethylsulfonium‐TFSI (S2,2,2) orN‐methyl‐N‐propylpyrrolidinium‐TFSI (Pyr1,3) ionic liquid (IL) alongside H2O and LiTFSI salt to simultaneously improve transport and electrochemical stability is studied. This work focuses on the impact of HAILSPE composition on electrochemical performance. Analysis shows that an increase in LiTFSI content results in decreased ionic mobility, while increasing IL and water content can offset its impact. pfg‐NMR results reveal that preferential lithium‐ion transport is present in HAILSPE systems. Higher IL concentrations are correlated with an increased degree of passivation against H2O reduction. Compared to the Pyr1,3systems, the S2,2,2systems exhibit a stronger degree of passivation due to the formation of a multicomponent interphase layer, including LiF, Li2CO3, Li2S, and Li3N. The results herein demonstrate the superior electrochemical stability of the S2,2,2systems compared to Pyr1,3and provide a path toward further enhancement of HAILSPE performance via composition optimization.

     
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  4. The optical properties are investigated by spectroscopic characterizations for bilayer InGaAs/GaAs quantum dot (QD) structures consisting of a layer of surface quantum dots (SQDs) separated from a layer of buried quantum dots (BQDs) by different GaAs spacers with thicknesses of 7 nm, 10.5 nm and 70 nm. The coupling from the BQDs to SQDs leads to carrier transfer for the two samples with thin spacers, 7 nm and 10.5 nm, in which QD pairs are obtained while not for the 70 nm spacer sample. The carrier tunneling time is measured to be 0.145 ns and 0.275 ns from BQDs to SQD through the 7 nm and 10.5 nm spacers, respectively. A weak emission band can be observed at the wavelength of ∼ 960 nm, while the excitation intensity dependent PL and PLE spectra show that this is from the wetting layer (WL) of the SQDs. This WL is very important for carrier dynamics in bilayer structures of BQDs and SQDs, including for carrier generation, capture, relaxation, tunneling, and recombination. These results provide useful information for understanding the optical properties of InGaAs SQDs and for using such hybrid structures as building blocks for surface sensing devices.

     
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  5. The use of potassium (K) metal anodes could result in high-performance K-ion batteries that offer a sustainable and low-cost alternative to lithium (Li)-ion technology. However, formation of dendrites on such K-metal surfaces is inevitable, which prevents their utilization. Here, we report that K dendrites can be healed in situ in a K-metal battery. The healing is triggered by current-controlled, self-heating at the electrolyte/dendrite interface, which causes migration of surface atoms away from the dendrite tips, thereby smoothening the dendritic surface. We discover that this process is strikingly more efficient for K as compared to Li metal. We show that the reason for this is the far greater mobility of surface atoms in K relative to Li metal, which enables dendrite healing to take place at an order-of-magnitude lower current density. We demonstrate that the K-metal anode can be coupled with a potassium cobalt oxide cathode to achieve dendrite healing in a practical full-cell device.

     
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