A High-Energy Tellurium Redox-Amphoteric Conversion Cathode Chemistry for Aqueous Zinc Batteries

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Rechargeable aqueous zinc batteries are potential candidates for sustainable energy storage systems at a grid scale, owing to their high safety and low cost. However, the existing cathode chemistries exhibit restricted energy density, which hinders their extensive applications. Here, a tellurium redox-amphoteric conversion cathode chemistry is presented for aqueous zinc batteries, which delivers a specific capacity of 1223.9 mAh gTe−1 and a high energy density of 1028.0 Wh kgTe−1. A highly concentrated electrolyte (30 mol kg−1 ZnCl2) is revealed crucial for initiating the Te redox-amphoteric conversion as it suppresses the H2O reactivity and inhibits undesirable hydrolysis of the Te4+ product. By carrying out multiple operando/ex situ characterizations, the reversible six-electron Te2−/Te0/Te4+ conversion with TeCl4 is identified as the fully charged product and ZnTe as the fully discharged product. This finding not only enriches the conversion-type battery chemistries but also establishes a critical step in exploring redox-amphoteric materials for aqueous zinc batteries and beyond.


Original languageEnglish
Article number2313621
JournalAdvanced materials
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2024

External IDs

Scopus 85184501820



  • redox-amphoteric, conversion electrochemistry, tellurium, aqueous zinc batteries