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Published May 15, 2014 | Submitted + Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Dynamics of Lithium Dendrite Growth and Inhibition: Pulse Charging Experiments and Monte Carlo Calculations


Short-circuiting via dendrites compromises the reliability of Li-metal batteries. Dendrites ensue from instabilities inherent to electrodeposition that should be amenable to dynamic control. Here, we report that by charging a scaled coin-cell prototype with 1 ms pulses followed by 3 ms rest periods the average dendrite length is shortened ~2.5 times relative to those grown under continuous charging. Monte Carlo simulations dealing with Li^+ diffusion and electromigration reveal that experiments involving 20 ms pulses were ineffective because Li^+ migration in the strong electric fields converging to dendrite tips generates extended depleted layers that cannot be replenished by diffusion during rest periods. Because the application of pulses much shorter than the characteristic time τ_c~O(1 ms) for polarizing electric double layers in our system would approach DC charging, we suggest that dendrite propagation can be inhibited (albeit not suppressed) by pulse charging within appropriate frequency ranges.

Additional Information

© 2014 American Chemical Society. Received: January 29, 2014; Accepted: April 30, 2014; Published: April 30, 2014. We thank undergraduate student Alejandro Sánchez for helping with the manufacture of cell parts. This work was sponsored by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grant No. OPP1069500 on environmental sustainability and, in part, by Bosch Energy Research Network Grant No. 13.01.CC11.

Attached Files

Submitted - jz-2014-00207a-R2.pdf

Supplemental Material - jz500207a_si_001.pdf


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