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Uniform lithiophilic layers in 3D current collectors enable ultrastable solid electrolyte interphase for high-performance lit...

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Nano Energy
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Uniform lithium plating/stripping during charging/discharging in 3D lithiophilic current collectors (3DLCC) is essential to suppress growth of lithium dendrites and to mitigate infinite volume variations of lithium metal for long-lived lithium metal batteries. This study reveals the decisive role played by uniformity of the lithiophilic layer of the 3DLCC in achieving uniform lithium plating/stripping. Herein, a series of metal oxide-based 3DLCCs are successfully fabricated with a simple and an ultrafast solution combustion method, from which formation of a uniform and stable lithium dendrite-free solid electrolyte interphase via a uniform lithiophilic layer is demonstrated. Taking Co3O4 as the lithiophilic material deposited on a nickel foam as the 3DLCC (Co@NF) for a proof of concept, the loading amount of Co3O4, closely correlated with the uniformity of the Co3O4 layer, is modulated to optimize its lithium ion hosting performances. With a uniform Co3O4 layer grown in the 3DLCC, an ultralow nucleation overpotential of 33.4 mV is achieved in half-cell tests at 1 mA cm−2 and 1 mAh cm−2, and a high Coulombic efficiency of 97.1% is maintained after 210 cycles under a severe cycling condition of 2 mA cm−2 and 1 mAh cm−2. A small polarization voltage of 13 mV together with an ultralong cycle life of 2400 h at 0.5 mA cm−2 and 1 mAh cm−2 in symmetric Li cells is achieved. Moreover, the composite Li anode delivers sensational rate capability and cyclability in full-cells. This work not only provides new and valuable insights into the interphasial chemistry of solid electrolyte interphase layers, but also sheds light on the development of ultrastable lithium metal batteries.