Conductivity and lithiophilicity gradients guide lithium deposition to mitigate short circuits

Jun Pu, Jiachen Li, Kai Zhang, Tao Zhang, Chaowei Li, Haixia Ma, Jia Zhu, Paul V. Braun, Jun Lu, Huigang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lithium metal anodes hold great promise to enable high-energy battery systems. However, lithium dendrites at the interface between anode and separator pose risks of short circuits and fire, impeding the safe application. In contrast to conventional approaches of suppressing dendrites, here we show a deposition-regulating strategy by electrically passivating the top of a porous nickel scaffold and chemically activating the bottom of the scaffold to form conductivity/lithiophilicity gradients, whereby lithium is guided to deposit preferentially at the bottom of the anode, safely away from the separator. The resulting lithium anodes significantly reduce the probability of dendrite-induced short circuits. Crucially, excellent properties are also demonstrated at extremely high capacity (up to 40 mAh cm −2 ), high current density, and/or low temperatures (down to −15 °C), which readily induce dendrite shorts in particular. This facile and viable deposition-regulating strategy provides an approach to preferentially deposit lithium in safer positions, enabling a promising anode for next-generation lithium batteries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1896
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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