Skip to content

Dendrite Suppression by a Polymer Coating: A Coarse‐Grained Molecular Study

Jian Qin
Advanced Functional Materials
2020

A major hurdle to the successful deployment of high‐energy‐density lithium metal based batteries is dendrite growth during battery cycling, which raises safety and cycle life concerns. Coating the Li metal anode with a soft polymer layer has been previously shown to be effective in suppressing dendrite growth, leading to uniform lithium deposition even at high current densities. A 3D coarse‐grained molecular model to study the mechanism of dendrite suppression is presented. It is found that the most effective coatings delay or even prevent dendrites from penetrating the polymer layer during deposition. The optimal deposition can be achieved by jointly tuning the polymer stiffness and relaxation time. Higher polymer dielectric permittivity and coating thickness are also effective, but the deposition rate and, therefore, the charging current density is reduced. These findings provide the basis for rational design of soft polymer coatings for stable lithium deposition.