Hydrogen bond assisted ultra-stable and fast aqueous NH4+ storage

Xikun Zhang, Bao-Lian Su*

Laboratory of Inorganic Materials, University of Namur, 61 Rue de Bruxelles, B-5000 Namur, BELGIUM (Email: bao-lian.su@unamur.be)

Aqueous ammonium ion batteries are regarded as eco-friendly and sustainable energy storage systems. And applicable host for NH4+ in aqueous solution is always in the process of development. On the basis of density functional theory (DFT) calculations, the excellent performance of NH4+ insertion in Prussian blue analogues (PBAs) is proposed, especially for copper hexacyanoferrate (CuHCF). In this work, we prove the outstanding cycling and rate performance of CuHCF via electrochemical analyses, delivering no capacity fading during ultra-long cycles of 3000 times and high capacity retention of 93.6% at 50 C. One of main contributions to superior performance from highly reversible redox reaction and structural change is verified during the ammnoiation/de-ammnoiation progresses. More importantly, we propose the NH4+ diffusion mechanism in CuHCF based on continuous formation and fracture of hydrogen bonds from a joint theoretical and experimental study, which is another essential reason for rapid charge transfer and superior NH4+ storage. Lastly, a full cell by coupling CuHCF cathode and polyaniline (PANI) anode is constructed to explore the practical application of CuHCF. In brief, the outstanding aqueous NH4+ storage in cubic PBAs creates a blueprint for fast and sustainable energy storage.