Stripping and Plating a Magnesium Metal Anode in Bromide-Based Non-Nucleophilic Electrolytes

ChemSusChem. 2020 Jul 7;13(13):3530-3538. doi: 10.1002/cssc.202000249. Epub 2020 May 19.


A non-nucleophilic Hauser base hexamethyldisilazide (HMDS) magnesium electrolyte possesses inherent properties required for a magnesium-sulfur battery. However, the development of full cell batteries using HMDSCl-based electrolytes is still hampered by a low coulombic efficiency. A new electrolyte formulation of non-nucleophilic HMDS magnesium containing bromide as a halide instead of chloride was obtained through a simple and straightforward synthesis route. The electrochemistry of magnesium was investigated through plating and stripping in three different HMDSBr-based electrolytes: Mg(HMDS)Br, Mg(HMDS)Br-BEt3 , and Mg(HMDS)Br-AlEt3 dissolved in tetrahydrofuran. The different magnesium species present in the electrolytes were determined using NMR. Weak electron-withdrawing Lewis acids, BEt3 and AlEt3 were used intentionally and their impact was investigated. Contrary to expectation, the substitution of chloride by bromide does not drastically narrow the electrochemical stability window. HMDSBr-based electrolytes demonstrated long-term (1000 cycles) stable reversibility and highly efficient (≈99 %) magnesium plating/tripping without a high ratio of bromide compared with the MgHMDSCl-based electrolytes. The aprotic electrolyte shows comparatively high anodic stability (≈2.4 V vs. Mg/Mg2+ ) and high ionic conductivity of 1.16 mS cm-1 at room temperature. Plating of magnesium with low overpotential (<188 mV) revealed a morphology dependence on the electrolyte type with a shiny metallic homogenous layer, suggesting a rational balance between the nucleation and growth process in HMDSBr-based electrolytes.

Keywords: bromide; electrolytes; hexamethyldisilazide; magnesium batteries; stripping/plating.