Aqueous zinc-ion batteries have garnered attention for their cost-effectiveness, safety, and environmental credentials. However, their widespread adoption has been plagued by severe zinc dendrite growth, which often induces poor reversibility.
Now, a research team led by scientists from the Hefei Institutes of Physical Science in China has found that the addition of serine cations to the electrode/electrolyte interface in the aqueous zinc-ion battery would obstruct the rampant growth of the Zn (100) plane.
Namely, high-activity facet is often prone to side reactions, including deterioration of the zinc anode and declining stability of the battery. Therefore, tailoring the zinc deposition behavior is vital to prevent dendrite growth.
The researchers conducted a (100) facet-termination engineering strategy employing serine (Ser, C3H7NO3) as the interface structure conditioner into a zinc sulfate (ZnSO4) system.
This endowed the Zn anode with a long cyclic life of more than 800 h for Zn//Zn batteries and a high average Coulombic efficiency of 99.8% at 5 mA cm−2 and 5 mAh cm−2 for Zn//Cu batteries.
When assembled with commercial vanadium pentoxide (V2O5), the full battery delivers a high capacity of 345.1 mAh g−1 at 5 A g−1 with retention of 74.1% over 2000 cycles.
According to the researchers, their findings provide a promising strategy for improving the zinc anode and are expected to be applied to other metal anodes with poor stability and reversibility.
They discuss their results in “Facet-termination promoted uniform Zn (100) deposition for high-stable zinc-ion batteries,” published in Advanced Energy Materials.
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