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  1. Aqueous Li-ion batteries (ALIBs) are an important class of battery chemistries owing to the intrinsic non-flammability of aqueous electrolytes. However, water is detrimental to most cathode materials and could result in rapid cell failure. Identifying the degradation mechanisms and evaluating the pros and cons of different cathode materials are crucial to guide the materials selection and maximize their electrochemical performance in ALIBs. In this study, we investigate the stability of LiFePO4(LFP), LiMn2O4(LMO) and LiNi0.8Mn0.1Co0.1O2(NMC) cathodes, without protective coating, in three different aqueous electrolytes, i.e., salt-in-water, water-in-salt, and molecular crowding electrolytes. The latter two are the widely reported “water-deficient electrolytes.” LFP cycled in the molecular crowding electrolyte exhibits the best cycle life in both symmetric and full cells owing to the stable crystal structure. Mn dissolution and surface reduction accelerate the capacity decay of LMO in water-rich electrolyte. On the other hand, the bulk structural collapse leads to the degradation of NMC cathodes. LMO demonstrates better full-cell performance than NMC in water-deficient aqueous electrolytes. LFP is shown to be more promising than LMO and NMC for long-cycle-life ALIB full cells, especially in the molecular crowding electrolyte. However, none of the aqueous electrolytes studied here provide enough battery performance that can compete with conventional non-aqueous electrolytes. This work reveals the degradation mechanisms of olivine, spinel, and layered cathodes in different aqueous electrolytes and yields insights into improving electrode materials and electrolytes for ALIBs.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2025
  2. Abstract

    Two-dimensional (2D) materials have drawn immense interests in scientific and technological communities, owing to their extraordinary properties and their tunability by gating, proximity, strain and external fields. For electronic applications, an ideal 2D material would have high mobility, air stability, sizable band gap, and be compatible with large scale synthesis. Here we demonstrate air stable field effect transistors using atomically thin few-layer PdSe2sheets that are sandwiched between hexagonal BN (hBN), with large saturation current > 350 μA/μm, and high field effect mobilities of ~ 700 and 10,000 cm2/Vs at 300 K and 2 K, respectively. At low temperatures, magnetotransport studies reveal unique octets in quantum oscillations that persist at all densities, arising from 2-fold spin and 4-fold valley degeneracies, which can be broken by in-plane and out-of-plane magnetic fields toward quantum Hall spin and orbital ferromagnetism.

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  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  4. The diffusion layer created by transition metal (TM) dissolution is ubiquitous at the electrochemical solid-liquid interface and plays a key role in determining electrochemical performance. Tracking the spatiotemporal dynamics of the diffusion layer has remained an unresolved challenge. With spatially resolved synchrotron X-ray fluorescence microscopy and micro-X-ray absorption spectroscopy, we demonstrate the in situ visualization and chemical identification of the dynamic diffusion layer near the electrode surface under electrochemical operating conditions. Our method allows for direct mapping of the reactive electrochemical interface and provides insights into engineering the diffusion layer for improving electrochemical performance.

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