Title: Polycationic Polymer Layer for Air‐Stable and Dendrite‐Free Li Metal Anodes in Carbonate Electrolytes
Abstract: The short cycle life and safety concerns caused by uncontrollable dendrite growth have severely hindered the commercialization of lithium metal batteries. Here, a polycationic and hydrophobic polymer protective layer fabricated by a scalable tape‐casting method is developed to enable air‐stable, dendrite‐free, and highly efficient Li metal anodes. The polymeric cations of poly(diallyl dimethyl ammonium) (PDDA) provide an electrostatic shielding effect that unifies Li+ flux at the surface of the Li anode and promotes a homogeneous Li plating, while the bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide (TFSI) anions bring hydrophobic characteristics and improve moisture stability. The accumulated TFSI anions by the polycationic film also facilitate the formation of a stable solid electrolyte interphase (SEI). Steady Li plating/stripping in the carbonate electrolyte can be achieved under a high areal capacity of 10 mAh cm−2 for 700 h with Li utilization efficiency up to 51.6%. LiNi0.8Mn0.1Co0.1O2 and LiFePO4 cells using the modified anode exhibit much improved electrochemical performance compared with the bare Li counterpart. Moreover, ultrasonic imaging shows no gas generation in the modified Li/LiFePO4 pouch cell. Mechanism investigation demonstrates the stable SEI and homogeneous Li deposition derived by the polycationic layer.