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Suppression of Dendritic Lithium Growth by in Situ Formation of a Chemically Stable and Mechanically Strong Solid Electrolyte Interphase

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posted on 15.12.2017 by Guojia Wan, Feihu Guo, Hui Li, Yuliang Cao, Xinping Ai, Jiangfeng Qian, Yangxing Li, Hanxi Yang
The growth and proliferation of Li dendrites during repeated Li cycling has long been a crucial issue that hinders the development of secondary Li-metal batteries. Building a stable and robust solid state electrolyte interphase (SEI) on the Li-anode surface is regarded as a promising strategy to overcome the dendrite issues. In this work, we report a simple strategy to engineer the interface chemistry of Li-metal anodes by using tiny amounts of dimethyl sulfate (DMS, C2H6SO4) as the SEI-forming additive. With the preferential reduction of DMS, an SEI layer composed of Li2S/Li2O forms on the Li surface. This inorganic SEI layer features high structural modulus and low interfacial resistant, enabling a dense and dendrite-free Li deposition as evidenced by scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and in situ optical images. In addition, this SEI layer can prevent the deposited Li from direct contact with corrosive electrolytes, thus rendering an improved cycling stability of Li anodes with an average Coulombic efficiency of 97% for up to 150 cycles. When the DMS additive is introduced into a Li/NCM full cell, the cycle life of Li-metal batteries can be also improved significantly. This work demonstrates a feasible route to suppress Li dendrite growth by designing appropriate film-forming additives to regulate the interfacial properties of the SEI layer, and also the sulfonyl-based derivatives revealed in this work represent a large variety of new film-forming molecules, providing a broad selectivity for constructing high efficiency and cycle-stable Li anodes to address the intrinsic problems of rechargeable Li-metal batteries.

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