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Metal-Air Batteries

Metal-Air batteries have significant potential as portable energy storage alternatives owing to their incredibly high energy density compared to other battery technologies. Although promising, the complex chemistry occurring at the electrodes of a metal-air cell is not yet well understood, and observing the formation of meta-stable species is traditionally difficult by most characterization methods. Our group has studied both Li-O2and Na-Obatteries using solid-state NMR methods, allowing us to gain insight into the complicated breakdown processes that cause many of the current issues in these systems. We have used a combination of multinuclear NMR techniques in order to identify electrolyte decomposition products in Li-Ocells, aiding in the search for compatible electrolyte materials for these high energy density batteries. Similarly, we have employed 23Na solid-state NMR to assess the relative stability of various common electrode materials in Na-Obatteries, ultimately identifying degenerative breakdown of the PVDF polymer that holds the electrode together.