Single-cluster Au as an usher for deeply cyclable Li metal anodes†
The practical application of lithium (Li) metal anodes is limited by various issues, especially the uncontrolled growth of dendrites. Herein, we report single-cluster Au uniformly dispersed on activated carbon cloth as a model to control directed Li deposition and suppress Li dendrite growth. Single-cluster Au can induce Li plating with zero nucleation overpotential, due to an optimized electron field distribution, as validated by DFT calculations. Stable and reversible Li metal anodes were achieved by virtue of single-cluster Au, exhibiting excellent cycling stability for more than 900 cycles with almost 100% coulombic efficiency and deeply cyclable behavior at a high areal capacity of up to 20 mA h cm−2. Benefiting from guided Li deposition and maximum Li-utilization, we found that Li metal batteries with high-loading cathodes also deliver an outstanding electrochemical performance, showing promise for future rechargeable Li metal battery technologies.