This TSRC workshop focuses on mechanistic understanding and exploration of molecular chemistry in electrochemical energy storage including batteries, solar cells, electrolyzers, and supercapacitors. Both organic and inorganic molecules play critical roles in energy storage devices. Taking redox flow batteries as an example, redox active organic and inorganic molecules are charge storage carriers and their redox potential, charge capacity, and stability directly impact flow battery performance, which is also observed in supercapacitors and organic rechargeable batteries. In Li ion batteries, supporting electrolytes, electrolyte additives, electrode polymer binders, and organic solvents function in enabling fast charge transfer thus high conductivity, improving SEI stability, and improving battery cycling life. In solar cells and electrolyzers, well-defined molecular catalysts have demonstrated powerful performance in storing renewable energy into chemical bonds.
It is fundamentally important to implement physical organic chemistry in electrochemical energy storage. The primary task of the workshop is to invoke the in-depth discussion on how electronic and steric factors, solvents, and additives affect electrochemical characteristics of organic and inorganic molecules in energy storage devices. Invited presentations will emphasize battery chemistries, spectroscopic studies, and computational modeling of energy storage related molecules to understand their solution and interfacial chemistry in energy storage devices. The ultimate goal of the workshop aims to establish a structure-function relationship of energy storage related molecules in representative energy storage devices. It is anticipated that the workshop, at molecular level, will inspire creative solutions to existing challenges in current energy storage technologies, and spark novel ideas in developing new energy storage technologies.