Stable metal battery anodes enabled by polyethylenimine sponge hosts by way of electrokinetic effects

Guoxing Li, Zhe Liu, Qingquan Huang, Yue Gao, Michael Regula, Daiwei Wang, Long Qing Chen, Donghai Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

79 Scopus citations

Abstract

The cycle life and energy density of rechargeable metal batteries are largely limited by the dendritic growth of their metal anodes (lithium, sodium or zinc). Here we develop a three-dimensional cross-linked polyethylenimine lithium-ion-affinity sponge as the lithium metal anode host to mitigate the problem. We show that electrokinetic surface conduction and electro-osmosis within the high-zeta-potential sponge change the concentration and current density profiles, which enables dendrite-free plating/stripping of lithium with a high Coulombic efficiency at high deposition capacities and current densities, even at low temperatures. The use of a lithium-hosting sponge leads to a significantly improved cycling stability of lithium metal batteries with a limited amount of lithium (for example, the areal lithium ratio of negative to positive electrodes is 0.6) at a commercial-level areal capacity. We also observed dendrite-free morphology in sodium and zinc anodes, which indicates a broader promise of this approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1076-1083
Number of pages8
JournalNature Energy
Volume3
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

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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