On August 12, according to foreign media reports, a research and development team led by Professor Yang Quanhong of Tianjin University and Professor Lu Wei of Tsinghua University prepared a wax-PEO (plasma electrolytic oxidation) on the surface of lithium metal through a simple dip coating method. Coating, thereby making an air-stable and waterproof lithium metal anode. As a commonly used inert sealing material, wax can be easily coated on the surface of lithium metal.
Lithium metal anodes have the characteristics of high specific capacity, low potential and light weight, which can effectively increase the energy density of batteries. That is, switching to lithium metal anodes will significantly increase the range of electric vehicles and reduce the cost of batteries used for grid energy storage. . However, due to the high chemical activity of lithium, it is easy to cause dendrite growth and air instability, which will cause safety problems. Therefore, it is restricted to be used as an electrode material for large-scale applications.
Lithium metal is very sensitive to moisture and oxidizing components in the air, which will cause insulating materials such as lithium hydroxide to be produced on its surface, which will lead to deterioration of its electrochemical performance. In addition, when lithium comes into contact with water, hydrogen gas and heat are generated, which may cause fire or explosion. The sensitivity of lithium metal puts forward higher requirements for the transportation, storage and processing of lithium metal anodes. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop an air-stable and waterproof lithium metal anode, so that the lithium metal anode can be truly applied in the future.
In the field of electronic equipment, packaging technology can protect electronic components from physical damage and corrosion from humid air and water, which also provides design ideas for how to protect lithium metal.
The wax-based composite coating developed by the researchers can prevent lithium metal from causing adverse reactions in air and water. In the battery, this type of coating slows down the corrosion of the electrolyte on the surface of the lithium metal anode; and the evenly distributed PEO ensures that the lithium ions can conduct uniformly at the interface and inhibit the growth of lithium dendrites.
Under the protection of the wax-PEO coating, the lithium metal surface remains unchanged within 24 hours in the air with a relative humidity of 70%, and the high specific capacity retention rate is 85%. And even if it is in direct contact with water, there is no fire or capacity degradation. After the lithium metal anode is coated with the coating, the stability of the symmetric battery is maintained for up to 500 hours, and the lithium-sulfur battery made of the lithium metal anode coated with the coating has In 300 charge-discharge cycles, after each cycle, the battery capacity decay rate is as low as 0.075%.
This study demonstrated an efficient packaging technology for air-stable and waterproof lithium metal anodes, which is easy to expand and is suitable for other sensitive electrode materials.
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Link to this article：Wax-PEO coating can be made into waterproof/air stable lithium metal anode
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