Stable charge-discharge cycling behavior for a lithium metal anode in a dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO)-based electrolyte is strongly desired of lithium-oxygen batteries, because the Li anode is rapidly exhausted as a result of side reactions during cycling in the DMSO solution. Herein, we report a novel electrolyte design for enhancing the cycling performance of Li anodes by using a highly concentrated DMSO-based electrolyte with a specific Li salt. Lithium nitrate (LiNO3), which forms an inorganic compound (Li2O) instead of a soluble product (Li2S) on a lithium surface, exhibits a >20% higher coulombic efficiency than lithium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide, lithium bis(fluorosulfonyl)imide, and lithium perchlorate, regardless of the loading current density. Moreover, the stable cycling of Li anodes in DMSO-based electrolytes depends critically on the salt concentration. The highly concentrated electrolyte 4.0 M LiNO3/DMSO displays enhanced and stable cycling performance comparable to that of carbonate-based electrolytes, which had not previously been achieved. We suppose this enhancement is due to the absence of free DMSO solvent in the electrolyte and the promotion of the desolvation of Li ions on the solid electrolyte interphase surface, both being consequences of the unique structure of the electrolyte.
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