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revised on 23.09.2020 and posted on 24.09.2020by Jules Moutet, Jose M Veleta, thomas Gianetti
Redox flow batteries (RFBs) represent a promising technology for grid-scale integration of renewable energy. Redox-active molecular pairs with large potential windows have been identified as key components of these systems. However, cross-contamination problems encountered by the use of different catholyte and anolyte species still limits the development of reliable organic RFBs. Herein, we report the first use of a helical carbenium ion, with three stable oxidation states, as electrolyte for the development of symmetric cells. Cyclic voltammo-amperometric studies were conducted in acetonitrile to assess the essential kinetic properties for flow battery performance and cycling stability of this molecule. The selected helicenium ion was then evaluated by using mono- and bi-electronic cycling experiments, resulting in 745 and 80 cycles respectively, with near-perfect capacity retention. This helical carbenium ion based electrolyte achieved a proof-of-principle 2.12 V open circuit potential as an all-organic symmetric RFB.