A New Design Strategy for Observing Lithium Oxide Growth-Evolution Interactions Using Geometric Catalyst Positioning

Won Hee Ryu, Forrest S. Gittleson, Jinyang Li, Xiao Tong, André D. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding the catalyzed formation and evolution of lithium-oxide products in Li-O2 batteries is central to the development of next-generation energy storage technology. Catalytic sites, while effective in lowering reaction barriers, often become deactivated when placed on the surface of an oxygen electrode due to passivation by solid products. Here we investigate a mechanism for alleviating catalyst deactivation by dispersing Pd catalytic sites away from the oxygen electrode surface in a well-structured anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) porous membrane interlayer. We observe the cross-sectional product growth and evolution in Li-O2 cells by characterizing products that grow from the electrode surface. Morphological and structural details of the products in both catalyzed and uncatalyzed cells are investigated independently from the influence of the oxygen electrode. We find that the geometric decoration of catalysts far from the conductive electrode surface significantly improves the reaction reversibility by chemically facilitating the oxidation reaction through local coordination with PdO surfaces. The influence of the catalyst position on product composition is further verified by ex situ X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy in addition to morphological studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4799-4806
Number of pages8
JournalNano Letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 10 2016


  • Lithium-oxygen batteries
  • catalytic membrane
  • nanoparticles
  • oxygen evolving catalyst
  • product morphology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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