Insights into the Nanostructure, Solvation, and Dynamics of Liquid Electrolytes through Small‐Angle X‐Ray Scattering

Small-angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS) provides a global view of the liquid electrolyte structure, which determines critical structural parameters such as solvation structure, aggregates, particle size, and molecular arrangement.

Scientific Achievement

We discussed the theory of the SAXS technique and SAXS data collection, processing, and analysis of liquid electrolytes. Also, the recent developments in understanding liquid electrolytes are summarized, including: the characterization of solvation structures, the liquid structures in a water-in-salt electrolyte, concentrated electrolyte, localized concentrated electrolyte, and ionic liquids.

Significance and Impact

This review paper focuses on the microscopic understanding of liquid electrolytes by SAXS and operando SAXS. We highlight the unique capabilities of X-ray scattering for intra- and inter-molecular relationship and nanostructure characterization of electrolytes.

Research Details

  • The combination of SAXS and molecular simulation has already been applied to determine the liquid structure factor and nanostructures such as solvation, clusters, and aggregates, proving its unique advantage.
  • Operando SAXS techniques, on a further step, could help to unravel the fundamental mechanism of liquid dynamics and mass transport in working conditions, which give critical and irreplaceable proof.

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DOI: 10.1002/aenm.202002821

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