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Accurate Quantum Chemical Reaction Energies for Lithium-Mediated Electrolyte Decomposition and Evaluation of Density Functional Approximations

Cite this: J. Phys. Chem. A 2023, 127, 44, 9178–9184
Publication Date (Web):October 25, 2023
https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpca.3c04369
Copyright © 2023 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract

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    An important concern related to the performance of Li-ion batteries is the formation of a solid electrolyte interphase on the surface of the anode. This film is formed from the decomposition of electrolytes and can have important effects on the stability and performance. Here, we evaluate the decomposition pathway of ethylene carbonate and related organic electrolyte molecules using a series of density functional approximations and correlated wave function (WF) methods, including the coupled-cluster theory with single, double, and perturbative triple excitations [CCSD(T)] and auxiliary-field quantum Monte Carlo (AFQMC). We find that the transition state barrier associated with ring opening varies widely across different functionals, ranging from 3.01 to 17.15 kcal/mol, which can be compared to the value of 12.84 kcal/mol predicted by CCSD(T). This large variation underscores the importance of benchmarking against accurate WF methods. A performance comparison of all of the density functionals used in this study reveals that the M06-2X-D3 (a meta-hybrid GGA), CAM-B3LYP-D3 (a range-separated hybrid), and B2GP-PLYP-D3 (a double hybrid) perform the best, with average errors of about 1.50–1.60 kcal/mol compared to CCSD(T). We also compared the performance of the WF methods that are more scalable than CCSD(T), finding that DLPNO–CCSD(T) and phaseless AFQMC with a DFT trial wave function exhibit average errors of 1.38 and 1.74 kcal/mol, respectively.

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    The Supporting Information is available free of charge at https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jpca.3c04369.

    • Individual reaction energies of the ethylene carbonate decomposition pathway; individual reaction energies of the fluoroethylene carbonate decomposition pathway; individual reaction energies of the propylene carbonate decomposition pathway; (PDF)

    • XYZ coordinates of molecules (ZIP)

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