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Status and challenges in enabling the lithium metal electrode for high energy and low cost rechargeable batteries

Publication: 
Nature Energy
Publication Date: 
Monday, December 18, 2017
Related Program(s): 
Author(s): 
Paul
Albertus
Susan
Babinec
Scott
Litzelman
Aron
Newman

Abstract

Enabling the reversible lithium metal electrode is essential for surpassing the energy content of today’s lithium-ion cells. Although lithium metal cells for niche applications have been developed already, efforts are underway to create rechargeable lithium metal batteries that can significantly advance vehicle electrification and grid energy storage. In this Perspective, we focus on three tasks to guide and further advance the reversible lithium metal electrode. First, we summarize the state of research and commercial efforts in terms of four key performance parameters, and identify additional performance parameters of interest. We then advocate for the use of limited lithium (≤30 μm) to ensure early identification of technical challenges associated with stable and dendrite-free cycling and a more rapid transition to commercially relevant designs. Finally, we provide a cost target and outline material costs and manufacturing methods that could allow lithium metal cells to reach 100 US$ kWh–1.