The electrolyte plays a key role in transporting the positive lithium ions between the cathode and anode. High purity electrolytes are a core component of lithium-ion batteries. The most commonly used electrolyte is comprised of lithium salt, such as LiPF6 in an organic solution.There are many other kinds of materials that are used as electrolytes. All of them are based on a lithium-containing material that allows for the easy diffusion of lithium.
In addition to lithium salt, a range of additives needs to be included in the finished electrolyte to give the required properties to the electrolyte solution. These lithium-ion battery electrolyte additives improve the stability by preventing degradation of the solution. The specific electrolyte formulation will vary depending on the specific anode and cathode materials being used, however it is important to keep in mind that the specific additives will impact overall battery performance, especially in high energy density automotive battery applications.
Liquid electrolytes are most commonly used today. Solid State and polymer electrolytes are being researched, but are not commonly used today.
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