Lithium metal stripping beneath the solid electrolyte interphase

Feifei Shi, Allen Pei, David Thomas Boyle, Jin Xie, Xiaoyun Yu, Xiaokun Zhang, Yi Cui

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154 Scopus citations


Lithium stripping is a crucial process coupled with lithium deposition during the cycling of Li metal batteries. Lithium deposition has been widely studied, whereas stripping as a subsurface process has rarely been investigated. Here we reveal the fundamental mechanism of stripping on lithium by visualizing the interface between stripped lithium and the solid electrolyte interphase (SEI). We observed nanovoids formed between lithium and the SEI layer after stripping, which are attributed to the accumulation of lithium metal vacancies. High-rate dissolution of lithium causes vigorous growth and subsequent aggregation of voids, followed by the collapse of the SEI layer, i.e., pitting. We systematically measured the lithium polarization behavior during stripping and find that the lithium cation diffusion through the SEI layer is the rate-determining step. Nonuniform sites on typical lithium surfaces, such as grain boundaries and slip lines, greatly accelerated the local dissolution of lithium. The deeper understanding of this buried interface stripping process provides beneficial clues for future lithium anode and electrolyte design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8529-8534
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number34
StatePublished - Aug 21 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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