Controlling electrochemical growth of metallic zinc electrodes: Toward affordable rechargeable energy storage systems

We note further that while we focus here on Zn electrodeposition, these goals are not limited to electrochemically deposited Zn: For example, randomly oriented moss-like and horizontally oriented plate-like Zn crystals are, observed in vapor deposition and liquid-state chemical reactions, respectively; the moss-like morphology is widely seen in Li metal anodes

Jingxu Zheng; Lynden A. Archer

2021

Scholarcy highlights

  • Scalable approaches for precisely manipulating the growth of crystals are of broad-based science and technological interest
  • We have contended that the solid-electrolyte interphase and the crystal anisotropy are the two critical but, oftentimes, overlooked aspects of Zn electrodeposition under battery-relevant conditions away from mass transport limit
  • The transformative progresses may require out-of-the-box approaches conceptualized taking together these fundamental traits of Zn and knowledge borrowed from related fields, e.g., heteroepitaxy or magnetic field-induced alignment of Zn crystals
  • In the course of implementing control over electrochemical growth of Zn, cautions need to be made against oversimplifications in the characterization, classification, and interpretation of deposition morphologies—The observation would hardly be scientifically meaningful unless the deposition conditions are chosen with reference to certain intrinsic properties of the system and estimates are thereby made to understand which regime the deposition system is in
  • Mass transport is a fundamental limit that exists for any electrolyte, above which the system enters a regime where ramified, dendritic electrodeposition dominates
  • The abuse of terminology may obscure that the fundamental aspects associated the deposition morphology and generate discrepancy across the literature—e.g., there obviously lacks a clear criterion in judging whether a morphology is “dendritic” or “nondendritic” in some contemporary publications
  • This seemingly contradicts with our conclusion that the solid-electrolyte interphase formed in liquid electrolytes engenders moss-like growth because one may think that such interphase is absent on vapor-deposited Zn metals; the authors, interestingly report the existence of “a thin ZnO film on the Zn nanowire surface,” evidenced by the characteristic photoluminescence bands of ZnO

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