"Ultrathin Two-Dimensional Atomic Crystals as Stable Interfacial Layer for Improvement of Lithium Metal Anode"

Kai Yan: Hyun-Wook Lee, Teng Gao, Guangyuan Zheng, Hongbin Yao, Haotian Wang, Zhenda Lu, Yu Zhou, Zheng Liang, Zhongfan Liu, Steven Chu, and Yi Cui; Nano Letters, 08/28/14.

Additional Authors: Hyun-Wook Lee, Teng Gao, Guangyuan Zheng, Hongbin Yao, Haotian Wang, Zhenda Lu, Yu Zhou, Zheng Liang, Zhongfan Liu, Steven Chu, and Yi Cui

Abstract:

Abstract Image

Stable cycling of lithium metal anode is challenging due to the dendritic lithium formation and high chemical reactivity of lithium with electrolyte and nearly all the materials. Here, we demonstrate a promising novel electrode design by growing two-dimensional (2D) atomic crystal layers including hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) and graphene directly on Cu metal current collectors. Lithium ions were able to penetrate through the point and line defects of the 2D layers during the electrochemical deposition, leading to sandwiched lithium metal between ultrathin 2D layers and Cu. The 2D layers afford an excellent interfacial protection of Li metal due to their remarkable chemical stability as well as mechanical strength and flexibility, resulting from the strong intralayer bonds and ultrathin thickness. Smooth Li metal deposition without dendritic and mossy Li formation was realized. We showed stable cycling over 50 cycles with Coulombic efficiency ∼97% in organic carbonate electrolyte with current density and areal capacity up to the practical value of 2.0 mA/cm2and 5.0 mAh/cm2, respectively, which is a significant improvement over the unprotected electrodes in the same electrolyte.