Complete Prevention of Dendrite Formation in Zn Metal Anodes by Means of Pulsed Charging Protocols
Garcia, G. and Ventosa, E. and Schuhmann, W.
ACS APPLIED MATERIALS AND INTERFACES
Volume: 9 Pages: 18691-18698
Zn metal as anode in rechargeable batteries, such as Zn/air or Zn/Ni, suffers from poor cyclability. The formation of Zn dendrites upon cycling is the key limiting step. We report a systematic study of the influence of pulsed electroplating protocols on the formation of Zn dendrites and in turn on strategies to completely prevent Zn dendrite formation. Because of the large number of variables in electroplating protocols, a scanning droplet cell technique was adapted as a high-throughput methodology in which a descriptor of the surface roughness can be in situ derived by means of electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. Upon optimizing the electroplating protocol by controlling nucleation, zincate ion depletion, and zincate ion diffusion, scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy confirmed the growth of uniform and homogenous Zn deposits with a complete prevention of dendrite growth. The implementation of pulsed electroplating as the charging protocol for commercially available Ni-Zn batteries leads to substantially prolonged cyclability demonstrating the benefits of pulsed charging in Zn metal-based batteries. © 2017 American Chemical Society.