"Strong texturing of lithium metal in batteries"

Feifei Shi: Allen Pei, Arturas Vailionis, Jin Xie, Bofei Liu, Jie Zhao, Yongji Gong and Yi Cui; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 11/14/17.

Additional Authors: Allen Pei, Arturas Vailionis, Jin Xie, Bofei Liu, Jie Zhao, Yongji Gong and Yi Cui

Abstract:

Lithium, with its high theoretical specific capacity and lowest electrochemical potential, has been recognized as the ultimate negative electrode material for next-generation lithium-based high-energy-density batteries. However, a key challenge that has yet to be overcome is the inferior reversibility of Li plating and stripping, typically thought to be related to the uncontrollable morphology evolution of the Li anode during cycling. Here we show that Li-metal texturing (preferential crystallographic orientation) occurs during electrochemical deposition, which governs the morphological change of the Li anode. X-ray diffraction pole-figure analysis demonstrates that the texture of Li deposits is primarily dependent on the type of additive or cross-over molecule from the cathode side. With adsorbed additives, like LiNO3 and polysulfide, the lithium deposits are strongly textured, with Li (110) planes parallel to the substrate, and thus exhibit uniform, rounded morphology. A growth diagram of lithium deposits is given to connect various texture and morphology scenarios for different battery electrolytes. This understanding of lithium electrocrystallization from the crystallographic point of view provides significant insight for future lithium anode materials design in high-energy-density batteries.