skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Nanoscale perspective: Materials designs and understandings in lithium metal anodes

Abstract

Li metal chemistry is a promising alternative with a much higher energy density than that of state-of-the-art Li-ion counterparts. However, significant challenges including safety issues and poor cyclability have severely impeded Li metal technology from becoming viable. In recent years, nanotechnologies have become increasingly important in materials design and fabrication for Li metal anodes, contributing to major progress in the field. In this review, we first introduce the main achievements in Li metal battery systems fulfilled by nanotechnologies, particularly regarding Li metal anode design and protection, ultrastrong separator engineering, safety monitoring, and smart functions. Next, we introduce recent studies on nanoscale Li nucleation/deposition. Lastly, we discuss possible future research directions. We hope this review delivers an overall picture of the role of nanoscale approaches in the recent progress of Li metal battery technology and inspires more research in the future.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [2]
  1. Stanford Univ., Stanford, CA (United States)
  2. Stanford Univ., Stanford, CA (United States); SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1420263
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-76SF00515
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nano Research
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 10; Journal Issue: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 1998-0124
Publisher:
Springer
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; lithium metal anodes; nanoscale lithium nucleation

Citation Formats

Lin, Dingchang, Liu, Yayuan, Pei, Allen, and Cui, Yi. Nanoscale perspective: Materials designs and understandings in lithium metal anodes. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1007/s12274-017-1596-1.
Lin, Dingchang, Liu, Yayuan, Pei, Allen, & Cui, Yi. Nanoscale perspective: Materials designs and understandings in lithium metal anodes. United States. doi:10.1007/s12274-017-1596-1.
Lin, Dingchang, Liu, Yayuan, Pei, Allen, and Cui, Yi. Fri . "Nanoscale perspective: Materials designs and understandings in lithium metal anodes". United States. doi:10.1007/s12274-017-1596-1. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1420263.
@article{osti_1420263,
title = {Nanoscale perspective: Materials designs and understandings in lithium metal anodes},
author = {Lin, Dingchang and Liu, Yayuan and Pei, Allen and Cui, Yi},
abstractNote = {Li metal chemistry is a promising alternative with a much higher energy density than that of state-of-the-art Li-ion counterparts. However, significant challenges including safety issues and poor cyclability have severely impeded Li metal technology from becoming viable. In recent years, nanotechnologies have become increasingly important in materials design and fabrication for Li metal anodes, contributing to major progress in the field. In this review, we first introduce the main achievements in Li metal battery systems fulfilled by nanotechnologies, particularly regarding Li metal anode design and protection, ultrastrong separator engineering, safety monitoring, and smart functions. Next, we introduce recent studies on nanoscale Li nucleation/deposition. Lastly, we discuss possible future research directions. We hope this review delivers an overall picture of the role of nanoscale approaches in the recent progress of Li metal battery technology and inspires more research in the future.},
doi = {10.1007/s12274-017-1596-1},
journal = {Nano Research},
number = 12,
volume = 10,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri May 19 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Fri May 19 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 4works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share:
  • Lithium (Li) metal batteries (LMBs) are regarded as the most promising power sources for electric vehicles. Besides the Li dendrite growth and low Li Coulombic efficiency, how to well match Li metal anode with a high loading (normally over 3.0 mAh cm-2) cathode is another key challenge to achieve the real high energy density battery. In this work, we systematically investigate the effects of the Li metal capacity usage in each cycle, manipulated by varying the cathode areal loading, on the stability of Li metal anode and the cycling performance of LMBs using the LiNi1/3Mn1/3Co1/3O2 (NMC) cathode and an additive-containingmore » dual-salt/carbonate-solvent electrolyte. It is demonstrated that the Li||NMC cells show decent long-term cycling performance even with NMC areal capacity loading up to ca. 4.0 mAh cm-2 and at a charge current density of 1.0 mA cm-2. The increase of the Li capacity usage in each cycle causes variation in the components of the solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) layer on Li metal anode and generates more ionic conductive species from this electrolyte. Further study reveals for the first time that the degradation of Li metal anode and the thickness of SEI layer on Li anode show linear relationship with the areal capacity of NMC cathode. Meanwhile, the expansion rate of consumed Li and the ratio of SEI thickness to NMC areal loading are kept almost the same value with increasing cathode loading, respectively. These fundamental findings provide new perspectives on the rational evaluation of Li metal anode stability for the development of rechargeable LMBs.« less
  • Lithium (Li) metal is an ideal anode material for high energy density batteries. However, its low Coulombic efficiency (CE) and formation of dendrites during the plating and stripping processes has hindered its applications in rechargeable Li metal batteries. The accurate measurement of Li CE is a critical factor to predict the cycle life of Li metal batteries, but the measurement of Li CE is affected by various factors that often leads to conflicting values reported in the literature. Here, we investigate various factors that affect the measurement of Li CE and propose a more accurate method of determining Li CE.more » It was also found that the capacity used for cycling greatly affects the stabilization cycles and the average CE. A higher cycling capacity leads to a shorter number of stabilization cycles and higher average CE. With a proper high-concentration ether-based electrolyte, Li metal can be cycled with a high average CE of 99.5 % for over 100 cycles at a high capacity of 6 mAh cm-2 suitable for practical applications.« less
  • We report that lithium (Li) metal batteries (LMBs) have recently attracted extensive interest in the energy-storage field after silence from the public view for several decades. However, many challenges still need to be overcome before their practical application, especially those that are related to the interfacial instability of Li metal anodes. Here, we reveal for the first time that the thickness of the degradation layer on the metallic Li anode surface shows a linear relationship with Li areal capacity utilization up to 4.0 mAh cm -2 in a practical LMB system. The increase in Li capacity utilization in each cyclemore » causes variations in the morphology and composition of the degradation layer on the Li anode. Under high Li capacity utilization, the current density for charge (i.e., Li deposition) is identified to be a key factor controlling the corrosion of the Li metal anode. Lastly, these fundamental findings provide new perspectives for the development of rechargeable LMBs.« less
  • Developing high-capacity anodes is a must to improve the energy density of lithium batteries for electric vehicle applications. Alloy anodes are one promising option, but without pre-stored lithium, the overall energy density is limited by the low-capacity lithium metal oxide cathodes. Recently, lithium metal has been revived as a high-capacity anode, but faces several challenges owing to its high reactivity and uncontrolled dendrite growth. Here, we show a series of Li-containing foils inheriting the desirable properties of alloy anodes and pure metal anodes. They consist of densely packed Li xM (M = Si, Sn, or Al) nanoparticles encapsulated by largemore » graphene sheets. With the protection of graphene sheets, the large and freestanding Li xM/graphene foils are stable in different air conditions. With fully expanded Li xSi confined in the highly conductive and chemically stable graphene matrix, this LixSi/graphene foil maintains a stable structure and cyclability in half cells (400 cycles with 98% capacity retention). As a result, this foil is also paired with high-capacity Li-free V 2O 5 and sulfur cathodes to achieve stable full-cell cycling.« less
    Cited by 8