Plating and Stripping Calcium Metal in Potassium Hexafluorophosphate Electrolyte toward a Stable Hybrid Solid Electrolyte Interphase

Paul Alexis Chando, Jacob Matthew Shellhamer, Elizabeth Wall, Wenlin He, Ian Dean Hosein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The use of calcium (Ca) metal anodes in batteries is currently challenged by the development of a suitable solid electrolyte interface (SEI) that enables effective Ca2+ ion transport. Native calcium electrolytes produce a passivation layer on the surface of the calcium electrodes during cycling, causing a decrease in capacity during cycling and the need for large overpotentials. The use of a hybrid SEI is a strategy to mitigate the uncontrolled production of a passivation layer and reduce the overpotentials needed for the plating and stripping of calcium. Here, we report the development of a hybrid potassium (K)/Ca SEI layer investigated in symmetric Ca//Ca cell configurations. Using KPF6 salt in a ternary mixture of carbonate solvent (EC/EMC/DMC), Ca//Ca cells can be cycled up to 200 h at a capacity of 0.15 mAh/cm2 with a current density of 0.025 mA/cm2. The symmetrical cells consistently cycle at overpotentials of 1.8 V. Ex-situ X-ray diffraction (XRD) of cycled electrodes reveals plating and stripping of both calcium and potassium. Energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) maps confirm the plating of calcium and potassium during galvanostatic cycling. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) cross-sectional views of the calcium electrodes reveal a continuous SEI layer formed over the calcium metal. XRD analysis reveals the SEI layer consists of K-based inorganics along with the identification of permanent and transient phases. FTIR outlines the parallel plating of both calcium and potassium at both regions of redox activity. Raman spectroscopy of the electrolyte reveals compositional changes over the course of cycling that promote increased plating and stripping. The results indicate that potassium electrolytes are a possible route for tuning the SEI to enable reversible calcium electrochemical cycling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3924-3932
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Energy Materials
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 10 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • anode
  • batteries
  • calcium
  • electrolyte
  • solid−electrolyte interface

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrochemistry
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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