Research ArticleMATERIALS SCIENCE

Stabilizing electrodeposition in elastic solid electrolytes containing immobilized anions

Science Advances  15 Jul 2016:
Vol. 2, no. 7, e1600320
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1600320

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Abstract

Ion transport–driven instabilities in electrodeposition of metals that lead to morphological instabilities and dendrites are receiving renewed attention because mitigation strategies are needed for improving rechargeability and safety of lithium batteries. The growth rate of these morphological instabilities can be slowed by immobilizing a fraction of anions within the electrolyte to reduce the electric field at the metal electrode. We analyze the role of elastic deformation of the solid electrolyte with immobilized anions and present theory combining the roles of separator elasticity and modified transport to evaluate the factors affecting the stability of planar deposition over a wide range of current densities. We find that stable electrodeposition can be easily achieved even at relatively high current densities in electrolytes/separators with moderate polymer-like mechanical moduli, provided a small fraction of anions are immobilized in the separator.

Keywords
  • Lithium Batteries
  • Electrodeposition
  • Mechanics
  • Structured Electrolytes
  • Dendrites
  • Stability Analysis

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