Composite lithium electrode with mesoscale skeleton via simple mechanical deformation

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Science Advances  15 Mar 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 3, eaau5655
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau5655


Lithium metal–based batteries are attractive energy storage devices because of high energy density. However, uncontrolled dendrite growth and virtually infinite volume change, which cause performance fading and safety concerns, have limited their applications. Here, we demonstrate that a composite lithium metal electrode with an ion-conducting mesoscale skeleton can improve electrochemical performance by locally reducing the current density. In addition, the potential for short-circuiting is largely alleviated due to side deposition of mossy lithium on the three-dimensional electroactive surface of the composite electrode. Moreover, the electrode volume only slightly changes with the support of a rigid and stable scaffold. Therefore, this mesoscale composite electrode can cycle stably for 200 cycles with low polarization under a high areal current density up to 5 mA/cm2. Most attractively, the proposed fabrication process, which only involves simple mechanical deformation, is scalable and cost effective, providing a new strategy for developing high performance and long lifespan lithium anodes.

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