A homologous series of cyclic carbonate or propylene carbonate (PC) analogue solvents with increasing length of linear alkyl substitutes were synthesized and used as co-solvents with PC for graphite based lithium ion half cells. A graphite anode reaches a capacity around 310 mAh/g in PC and its analogue co-solvents with 99.95% Coulombic efficiency. Cyclic carbonate co-solvents with longer alkyl chains are able to prevent exfoliation of graphite when used as co-solvents with PC. The cyclic carbonate co-solvents of PC compete for solvation of Li ion with PC solvent, delaying PC co-intercalation. Reduction products of PC on graphite surfaces via single-electron path form a stable Solid Electrolyte Interphase (SEI), which allows the reversible cycling of graphite.
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 The invention described and claimed herein was made in part utilizing funds supplied by the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-ACO2-05CH11231 between the U.S. Department of Energy and the Regents of the University of California for the management and operation of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The government has certain rights in this invention.