Currently, the state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) are the most widely used energy storage devices and have brought a great impact on our daily life. However, even many strategies have been reported to improve the energy density, these LIBs still can not meet the rapidly growing demand from the many lately emerged devices. During the pursue of higher energy densities, lithium-metal batteries (LMBs) have been the most promising candidates of the next-generation energy storage devices. Unfortunately, the Li-metal anode usually induces severe safety concerns and inferior cycle performance, because of the dendrite growth, high reactivity, and infinite volume changes of Li metal. As a result, these problems limit the commercial application of LMBs and must be resolved prior to the practical deployment of LMBs. In this review, we will firstly discuss the failure mechanisms of Li-metal anodes and introduce latest characterization technologies to study dendritic Li formation. The advances to improve the safety and performance of Li metal anode through electrolyte modification, interfacial engineering, solid-state electrolyte incorporation, and host materials design will then be comprehensively summarized and discussed. Lastly, we will conclude by summarizing the challenges in the current research on LMBs and highlight the future perspectives as well. Through this review, we hope to present the latest developments of the Li metal anode materials for the readers, and also shed light on the possible solutions for the current issues in order to accelerate both fundamental research and practical deployment of the various LMBs.
Available for download on Monday, February 24, 2020