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  1. Abstract

    Metal anode instability, including dendrite growth, metal corrosion, and hetero-ions interference, occurring at the electrolyte/electrode interface of aqueous batteries, are among the most critical issues hindering their widespread use in energy storage. Herein, a universal strategy is proposed to overcome the anode instability issues by rationally designing alloyed materials, using Zn-M alloys as model systems (M = Mn and other transition metals). An in-situ optical visualization coupled with finite element analysis is utilized to mimic actual electrochemical environments analogous to the actual aqueous batteries and analyze the complex electrochemical behaviors. The Zn-Mn alloy anodes achieved stability over thousands of cycles even under harsh electrochemical conditions, including testing in seawater-based aqueous electrolytes and using a high current density of 80 mA cm−2. The proposed design strategy and the in-situ visualization protocol for the observation of dendrite growth set up a new milestone in developing durable electrodes for aqueous batteries and beyond.

  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 13, 2023
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  6. Employing the strong metal-support interaction (SMSI) effect for promoting the catalyst's activity toward the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is promising due to the electronic structure optimization and high utilization efficiency of platinum group metal (PGM) catalysts. Metal oxides as alternative supports for PGMs facilitate intrinsic activity and improve durability as compared to conventional carbon supports. However, the restricted mass and electron transfer at the metal/support interface need to be addressed. Herein, to strengthen the interaction at the metal/support interfaces and improve the utilization efficiency of PGM, an ultralow loading of Pd was embedded in a surface-oxygenated PdNiMnO porous film. The Mn-doping was designed to promote surface oxygenation using a facile anodization process that created sufficiently exposed interfaces between Pd and the support, strengthening the SMSI effects at the Pd/oxygenated support interface for enhancing ORR performance. Furthermore, the Ni-containing oxygenated catalyst served as both the active component for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) and the functional support for stabilizing Pd, making PdNiMnO a bifunctional catalyst for zinc–air flow batteries (ZAFB). As a proof-of-concept, the ZAFB (PdNiMnO) shows a maximal power density of 211.6 mW cm −2 and outstanding cycling stability for over 2000 h with a minimal voltage gap of 0.69more »V at a current density of 10 mA cm −2 , superior to the state-of-the-art catalysts.« less
  7. Electrochemical energy systems such as batteries, water electrolyzers, and fuel cells are considered as promising and sustainable energy storage and conversion devices due to their high energy densities and zero or negative carbon dioxide emission. However, their widespread applications are hindered by many technical challenges, such as the low efficiency and poor long-term cyclability, which are mostly affected by the changes at the reactant/electrode/electrolyte interfaces. These interfacial processes involve ion/electron transfer, molecular/ion adsorption/desorption, and complex interface restructuring, which lead to irreversible modifications to the electrodes and the electrolyte. The understanding of these interfacial processes is thus crucial to provide strategies for solving those problems. In this review, we will discuss different interfacial processes at three representative interfaces, namely, solid–gas, solid–liquid, and solid–solid, in various electrochemical energy systems, and how they could influence the performance of electrochemical systems.