Syed Abdul Ahad, Temilade Esther Adegoke, Kevin M. Ryan, and Hugh Geaney*
Department of Chemical Sciences and Bernal Institute
University of Limerick
Limerick V94 T9PX, Ireland
Corresponding Author: Hugh Geaney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Received: December 19, 2022 Revised: January 16, 2023
Link to Paper:
Despite significant efforts to fabricate high energy density (ED) lithium (Li) metal anodes, problems such as dendrite formation and the need for excess Li (leading to low N/P ratios) have hampered Li metal battery (LMB) development. Here, the use of germanium (Ge) nanowires (NWs) directly grown on copper (Cu) substrates (Cu-Ge) to induce lithiophilicity and subsequently guide Li ions for uniform Li metal deposition/stripping during electrochemical cycling is reported. The NW morphology along with the formation of the Li15Ge4 phase promotes uniform Li-ion flux and fast charge kinetic, resulting in the Cu-Ge substrate demonstrating low nucleation overpotentials of 10 mV (four times lower than planar Cu) and high Columbic efficiency (CE) efficiency during Li plating/stripping. Within a full-cell configuration, the Cu-Ge@Li – NMC cell delivered a 63.6% weight reduction at the anode level compared to a standard graphite-based anode, with impressive capacity retention and average CE of over 86.5% and 99.2% respectively. The Cu-Ge anodes are also paired with high specific capacity sulfur (S) cathodes, further demonstrating the benefits of developing surface-modified lithiophilic Cu current collectors, which can easily be integrated at the industrial scale.