A lithium iron phosphate reference electrode for ionic liquid electrolytes
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We report on the development of a very simple and robust reference electrode suitable for use in room temperature ionic liquids, that can be employed with planar devices. The reference electrode is based on LiFePO4(LFP), a common cathode material in Li-ion batteries, which is air and water stable. The reference electrode can be drop-cast onto a planar electrode device in a single step. We demonstrate that very low Li+-ion concentrations (millimolar or below) are sufficient to obtain a stable and reproducible LFP potential, thus making physical separation between the reference and working electrode unnecessary. Most importantly, the LFP potential is also entirely stable in the presence of oxygen and shows only a very small drift (<10 mV) in the presence of hydrogen gas, while the potential of a platinum pseudo-reference electrode is shifted >800 mV. This is the first time that such a stable reference electrode system for ionic liquids has been implemented in miniaturized, planar electrode devices.
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