Three-Dimensional, Solid-State Mixed Electron-Ion Conductive Framework for Lithium Metal Anode.

Author(s) Xu, S.; McOwen, D.W.; Wang, C.; Zhang, L.; Luo, W.; Chen, C.; Li, Y.; Gong, Y.; Dai, J.; Kuang, Y.; Yang, C.; Hamann, T.R.; Wachsman, E.D.; Hu, L.
Journal Nano Lett
Date Published 2018 May 22

Solid-state electrolytes (SSEs) have been widely considered as enabling materials for the practical application of lithium metal anodes. However, many problems inhibit the widespread application of solid state batteries, including the growth of lithium dendrites, high interfacial resistance, and the inability to operate at high current density. In this study, we report a 3D mixed electron/ion conducting framework (3D-MCF) based on a porous-dense-porous trilayer garnet electrolyte structure created via tape casting to facilitate the use of a 3D solid state lithium metal anode. The 3D-MCF was achieved by a conformal coating of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) on the porous garnet structure, creating a composite mixed electron/ion conductor that acts as a 3D host for the lithium metal. The lithium metal was introduced into the 3D-MCF via slow electrochemical deposition, forming a 3D lithium metal anode. The slow lithiation leads to improved contact between the lithium metal anode and garnet electrolyte, resulting in a low resistance of 25 Ω cm2. Additionally, due to the continuous CNT coating and its seamless contact with the garnet, we observed highly uniform lithium deposition behavior in the porous garnet structure. With the same local current density, the high surface area of the porous garnet framework leads to a higher overall areal current density for stable lithium deposition. An elevated current density of 1 mA/cm2 based on the geometric area of the cell was demonstrated for continuous lithium cycling in symmetric lithium cells. For battery operation of the trilayer structure, the lithium can be cycled between the 3D-MCF on one side and the cathode infused into the porous structure on the opposite side. The 3D-MCF created by the porous garnet structure and conformal CNT coating provides a promising direction towards new designs in solid-state lithium metal batteries.

DOI 10.1021/acs.nanolett.8b01295
ISSN 1530-6992
Citation Nano Lett. 2018.

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