Ion Agglomeration and Transport in MgCl2-Based Electrolytes for Rechargeable Magnesium Batteries

Vallabh Vasudevan, Mingchao Wang*, Jodie A. Yuwono, Jacek Jasieniak, Nick Birbilis, Nikhil V. Medhekar

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)


    Magnesium halide salts are an exciting prospect as stable and high-performance electrolytes for rechargeable Mg batteries (RMBs). By nature of their complex equilibria, these salts exist in solution as a variety of electroactive species (EAS) in equilibrium with counterions such as AlCl4 -. Here we investigated ion agglomeration and transport of several such EAS in MgCl2 salts dissolved in ethereal solvents under both equilibrium and operating conditions using large-scale atomistic simulations. We found that the solute morphology is strongly characterized by the presence of clusters and is governed by the solvation structures of EAS. Specifically, the isotropic solvation of Mg2+ results in the slow formation of a bulky cluster, compared with chainlike analogues observed in the Cl-containing EAS such as Mg2Cl3 +, MgCl+, and Mg2Cl2 2+. We further illustrate these clusters can reduce the diffusivity of charge-carrying species in the MgCl2-based electrolyte by at least an order of magnitude. Our findings for cluster formation, morphology, and kinetics can provide useful insight into the electrochemical reactions at the anode-electrolyte interface in RMBs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)7856-7862
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
    Issue number24
    Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2019


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