Improving cyclability of Li metal batteries at elevated temperatures and its origin revealed by cryo-electron microscopy

Jiangyan Wang, William Huang, Allen Pei, Yuzhang Li, Feifei Shi, Xiaoyun Yu, Yi Cui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

Operations of lithium-ion batteries have long been limited to a narrow temperature range close to room temperature. At elevated temperatures, cycling degradation speeds up due to enhanced side reactions, especially when high-reactivity lithium metal is used as the anode. Here, we demonstrate enhanced performance in lithium metal batteries operated at elevated temperatures. In an ether-based electrolyte at 60 °C, an average Coulombic efficiency of 99.3% is obtained and more than 300 stable cycles are realized, but, at 20 °C, the Coulombic efficiency drops dramatically within 75 cycles, corresponding to an average Coulombic efficiency of 90.2%. Cryo-electron microscopy reveals a drastically different solid electrolyte interface nanostructure emerging at 60 °C, which maintains mechanical stability, inhibits continuous side reactions and guarantees good cycling stability and low electrochemical impedance. Furthermore, larger lithium particles grown at the elevated temperature reduce the electrolyte/electrode interfacial area, which decreases the per-cycle lithium loss and enables higher Coulombic efficiencies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)664-670
Number of pages7
JournalNature Energy
Volume4
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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