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Problem Addressed

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, based on a graphite anode, play a central role in energy storage technologies for portable power and consumer electronics; however, their energy densities need to be significantly increased to be viable for energy-intensive processes like grid-scale storage of renewable energy. Current lithium electrode technology is limited by several problems which reduce battery lifespan and storage capacity including: self-plating of lithium onto itself to form dendrites, aggressive volume expansion and contraction during cycling, and corrosion by organic electrolytes. Solutions to these problems are critical to achieving the higher energy-density chemistries possible with lithium-oxygen and lithium-sulfur batteries. This invention develops a methodology to overcome these limitations by coating the metal, such as lithium electrodes, in a film that still permits ionic conductivity.