Improved battery technology on the horizon
Room-temperature cycling of metal fluoride electrodes: Liquid electrolytes for high-energy fluoride ion cells
Owing to the low atomic weight of fluorine, rechargeable fluoride-based batteries could offer very high energy density. However, current batteries need to operate at high temperatures that are required for the molten salt electrolytes. Davis et al. push toward batteries that can operate at room temperature, through two advances. One is the development of a room-temperature liquid electrolyte based on a stable tetraalkylammonium salt–fluorinated ether combination. The second is a copper–lanthanum trifluoride core-shell cathode material that demonstrates reversible partial fluorination and defluorination reactions.
Science , this issue p. 
Fluoride ion batteries are potential “next-generation” electrochemical storage devices that offer high energy density. At present, such batteries are limited to operation at high temperatures because suitable fluoride ion–conducting electrolytes are known only in the solid state. We report a liquid fluoride ion–conducting electrolyte with high ionic conductivity, wide operating voltage, and robust chemical stability based on dry tetraalkylammonium fluoride salts in ether solvents. Pairing this liquid electrolyte with a copper–lanthanum trifluoride (Cu@LaF3) core-shell cathode, we demonstrate reversible fluorination and defluorination reactions in a fluoride ion electrochemical cell cycled at room temperature. Fluoride ion–mediated electrochemistry offers a pathway toward developing capacities beyond that of lithium ion technology.