Weakly coordinating anions, and the exceptional conductivity of their nonaqueous solutions

W. Xu, Charles Angell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

278 Scopus citations


We describe the synthesis and properties of a new class of lithium salts in which the anions are dicarboxylic acid derivatives of orthoborate. The single negative charge of these anions is shared by eight oxygen atoms (more accurately four oxygen atoms and four carbonyl groups), hence it is very spread out, and the coordinating ability of the anions is consequently very weak. Judged by comparison of the high-temperature conductivities of 0.5 M lithium salt solutions with those of other weakly basic anions in a low dielectric constant solvent 1,2-dimethoxyethane, the first member of the new family, lithium bis(oxalato)borate, LiBOB, is dissociated much more than are LiClO4 or LiCF3SO3 and even more than lithium bis(trifluoromethane)sulfonylimide, LiTFSI. Conductivities of solutions in acetonitrile approach those of aqueous solutions. Solutions of LiBOB in propylene carbonate have high electrochemical stabilities, up to approx. 4.5 V vs. Li+/Li. Higher members of the series exhibit lower solubilities, but are also highly dissociated in dilute solution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E1-E4
JournalElectrochemical and Solid-State Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrochemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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