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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Fuel Technology
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology