In the field of reference electrode in lithium battery, BIT research group published a review article

News Resource: Advanced Research Institute of Multidisciplinary Sciences

Editor: Shi Shulun

Approver: Tang Shuiyuan

Recently, the research group led by Professor Huang Jiaqi from Advanced Research Institute of Multidisciplinary Sciences of BIT,  joint with Academician Ouyang Minggao and the research group led by Professor Zhang Qiang from Tsinghua university, published a review article "A Toolbox of Reference Electrodes for Lithium Batteries" in Advanced Functional Materials, which is a flagship journal of materials science of Wiley Publishing. In this article, the relevant progress of reference electrode in lithium battery is systematically summarized, and the overall design and application guidance are put forward. The first unit of this work is BIT, and the co-first authors are Xiao Ye and Xu Rui, PhD students from the School of Materials Science and Engineering or Advanced Research Institute of Multidisciplinary Sciences.

Electrochemical energy storage system plays an increasingly important role in our daily life. The development of batteries with high safety and high performance requires accurate detection and evaluation to the battery status. Traditional lithium batteries are typical two-electrode system which can only provide coupling information, making the battery a black box; but the three-electrode system formed by integrating the reference electrode into the battery can separate and quantify the signals from both the positive and the negative electrodes, so that the characteristics of each electrode and its influence on the overall performance of the battery can be studied separately. However, in the field of scientific research and industrial production, the practical construction of durable reference electrodes is still challenging. The development of highly reliable reference electrodes can provide an essential guarantee for accurately monitoring the state of working electrode and developing lithium battery with high energy and safety.


The historical progress of reference electrodes for lithium batteries

During the development process of lithium battery, non-water reference electrodes have appeared in succession, making breakthroughs in material chemistry, shape and application system, etc. (Figure 1). Based on previous work, and from basic principles to practical examples, this review briefly explains the design and usage specifications of the reference electrodes for lithium batteries, and summarizes the current challenges and developmental directions in the future(Figure 2).

Unreasonable design of the reference electrode itself, or improper use in the battery will lead to incorrect detection results and experimental conclusions. This work demonstrates its important impact on the reliability of the reference electrodes and battery performance from four aspects (active material, preparation, geometry, and placement). Basic design and principles of application are also proposed to clarify the relevant content.


Combined with the latest research progress, the application examples of the three-electrode system in electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and electric potential detection and analysis were analyzed in detail, indicating the potential and significance of the reference electrodes in practical lithium battery operation, failure mechanism analysis and lithium evolution monitoring.

This work reveals the key role of the reference electrodes in uncovering complex battery phenomena, and provides in-depth design and use guidance for their reliable utilization. In addition, the review highlights the important value of reference electrodes for academic research and industrial applications, deepening the peer understanding of coupling information in batteries. The relevant application directions and development challenges will continue to promote further understanding and breakthroughs in this field.

Paper details:

A Toolbox of Reference Electrodes for Lithium Batteries,  Advanced Functional Materials , 2021, 2108449.

Ye Xiao, Rui Xu, Chong Yan, Jia-Qi Huang*, Qiang Zhang*, Minggao Ouyang*.

Paper link:

About the author:

Huang Jiaqi, a professor and doctoral supervisor of Advanced Research Institute of Multidisciplinary Science in BIT, member of the Jiu San Society. His work focuses on the research field of interface energy chemistry of high specific energy batteries. More than 150 SCI papers have been were published in journals such as Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., J. Am. Chem. Soc., Adv. Mater., Adv. Funct. Mater., Sci. Bull. etc, of which over 60 are ESI highly cited papers, with an h factor for 84. He serves as a member of the Energy Chemistry Committee of Chinese Chemical Society, member of the Youth Council of China Particle Society, Editorial Board Menber of J. Energy Chem., InfoMat, Chin. Chem. Lett., Green Energy Environ., and Energy Mater. Adv. He was awarded the 2016 Hou Debang Chemical Science and Technology Youth Award from CIESC, 2018 Youth Particle Science Award from China Particle Science Society, 2018 Top Young Talents of National 10,000 Talents Program, 2020 Beijing Outstanding Youth Science Fund etc. From 2018 to 2021, he was successively selected as Clarivate global highly-cited scientist.