The present invention is generally related to electrolytes containing novel redox shuttles for overcharge protection of lithium-ion batteries. The redox shuttles are capable of thousands hours of overcharge tolerance and have a redox potential at about 3-5.5 V vs. Li and particularly about 4.4-4.8 V vs. Li. Accordingly, in one aspect the invention provides electrolytes comprising an alkali metal salt; a polar aprotic solvent; and a redox shuttle additive that is an aromatic compound having at least one aromatic ring with four or more electronegative substituents, two or more oxygen atoms bonded to the aromatic ring, and no hydrogen atoms bonded to the aromatic ring; and wherein the electrolyte solution is substantially non-aqueous. Further there are provided electrochemical devices employing the electrolyte and methods of making the electrolyte.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W31-109-ENG-38 between the U.S. Department of Energy and the University of Chicago representing Argonne National Laboratory.