Lithium metal electrodes are not widely used in rechargeable batteries as dendritic lithium growth and electrolyte reactions raise serious stability and safety concerns. In this study, we show that reproducible two-dimensional lithium deposition can be realized using a lithium salt concentration of 0.020?M, an added supporting salt, and a short lithium nucleation pulse. This approach, which is common in electrodeposition of metals, increases the lithium nuclei density on the electrode surface and decreases the extent of Li+ migration favoring dendritic lithium growth. Contrary to common belief, ascribing the dendrite problem to heterogeneous lithium nucleation due to an unstable solid electrolyte interphase layer, we show that the main lithium deposition problem stems from the difficulty to obtain two-dimensional deposition at the low lithium deposition overpotentials encountered in conventional high-lithium concentration electrolytes. The present results hence clearly demonstrate that two-dimensional lithium deposition can be realized in lithium-metal-based batteries.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2018.08.003