Synthesis of magnesium chloride complex electrolyte: Galvanic couple assisted catalytic dissolution of magnesium in ethereal solution

Jung Hoon Ha, Jinwon Cho, Jong Hak Kim, Byung Won Cho, Hyung Chul Ham, Si Hyoung Oh

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Herein, we reveal the critical role of CrCl3 and the mechanism for the synthesis of magnesium chloride complex (MaCC), an advanced conditioning-free electrolyte for rechargeable magnesium batteries. This involves a catalytic dissolution of Mg metal by nanoscale bimetallic galvanic couples in an ethereal solution: At the initial stage, nanoscale amorphous Cr-rich ‘islands’ form on Mg surface, creating numerous Cr-Mg galvanic couples. These Cr-rich islands act as local cathodic sites due to partial electron transfer from Mg metal substrate. Furthermore, the first-principles calculation shows that Al prefers to bind at Cr-rich regions rather than Mg. These trigger a heterogeneous catalysis for the selective deposition of Al on Cr-rich islands and a dramatic increase in the dissolution rate of Mg metal on the neighboring region. This leads to an ultrahigh Mg2+-to-Al3+ concentration ratio in the resultant solution, a key property of the conditioning-free electrolyte. This study is potentially applicable to many other fields like metal-air batteries and corrosion protection of metals, where a subtle manipulation of passive layer is required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-127
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sept 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We gratefully appreciated Ms. Y.W. Chung and Dr. J.-Y. Kim in the Advanced Analysis Center at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology for contributions on sample preparation and microscope observation, respectively. This work was financially supported by KIST institutional program (Project No. 2E28142 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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