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A universal surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS)-active graphene cathode for lithium–air batteries

Liu, Kewei, Yu, Zitian, Zhu, Xiaowen, Zhang, Shuo, Zou, Feng, Zhu, Yu
RSC advances 2016 v.6 no.104 pp. 102272-102279
Raman spectroscopy, aluminum oxide, cathodes, gold, graphene, lithium batteries, nanogold, solvents
Nonaqueous lithium–air (Li–O₂) batteries, with their high theoretical energy densities far exceeding those of conventional Li-ion batteries, have attracted significant research interest over the past decade. However, the practical realization of Li–O₂ batteries is still confronted with the challenge of electrode side reactions that lead to severe solvent/electrode degradation upon cycling. To understand the reaction process on the electrode, it is necessary to obtain detailed information about the chemicals formed on the Li–O₂ battery electrode. Herein, a universal method to fabricate large-area regularly patterned gold nano-dots using an anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) mask was developed. The gold nano-dots were patterned on to conductive substrates such as Au film and graphene, and then the films were used as SERS (Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy)-active cathodes in Li–O₂ batteries. The discharge products on the different electrodes (graphene and gold) were analyzed and the results indicated that the SERS electrode will be a useful tool for studying the reaction process on lithium–air cathodes.