Novel ALD Chemistry Enabled Low-Temperature Synthesis of Lithium Fluoride Coatings for Durable Lithium Anodes

Alternating exposures to lithium tert-butoxide (LiOtBu) and HF yield layer-by-layer growth of LiF (top). An 8 nm LiF coating protects Li and extends the cycle life compared to a bare Li anode (bottom).

Scientific Achievement

The team developed an atomic layer deposition (ALD) method to deposit lithium fluoride (LiF) films on lithium metal anodes.  These LiF films enable a stable Coulombic efficiency as high as 99.5% for over 170 cycles, about 4 times longer than that of bare lithium anodes.

Significance and Impact

This new ALD process not only offers a promising avenue to implement lithium metal anodes for high capacity batteries, but paves the way for future studies to investigate failure and evolution mechanisms of the solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) on anodes such as graphite, silicon and lithium.

Research Details

  • The ALD uses lithium tert-butoxide and HF-Pyridine at 150°C and yields crystalline, highly conformal, and stoichiometric LiF films at 0.8 Å/cycle with >99% purity.
  • Nanoindentation measurements reveal a shear modulus of 58 GPa, seven times higher than the sufficient value to resist lithium dendrites.
  • In contrast to bare lithium, lithium anodes with an 8 nm LiF coating remain smooth and dendrite-free even after 160 charge-discharge cycles.


Download this highlight

Latest Updates

See All
  • JCESR Spotlight: Bob Jin Kwon, A Postdoc with Passion and Perseverance

    Argonne recognizes Kwon’s contributions to battery science with the Postdoctoral Performance Award. Article authored by: Michael Matz, Argonne Associate Bob Jin Kwon likes a good challenge, particularly when it comes to developing completely new kinds of batteries. “Developing new battery technologies is very challenging,” said … Read More

  • JCESR Spotlight: Lily Robertson Recognized for Her Contributions to Battery Research

    Argonne’s Postdoctoral Performance Award recognizes scientific achievements, leadership, and collaboration. Article authored by: Michael Matz, Argonne Associate Since her early days growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Lily Robertson has always wanted to help make the world a better place. “For as … Read More

  • Understanding fluorine-free electrolytes via small-angle X-ray scattering

    We compare the solvation phenomenon of sodium tetraphenylborate (NaBPh4) salt dissolved in organic solvents of propylene carbonate (PC), 1,2-dimethoxyethane (DME), acetonitrile (ACN) and tetrahydrofuran (THF) by SAXS/WAXS measurement and MD simulation. Read More

  • Navigating the Minefield of Battery Literature

    This is an invited perspective aiming to help researchers new to the field of battery research to circumvent certain recurring misconceptions and inaccuracies in the current battery literature. It covers the electrolyte ideality and practical situation in batteries, the difficulty in accurately determining ion transference … Read More

  • Quantifying Lithium Ion Exchange in Solid Electrolyte Interphase (SEI) on Graphite Anode Surfaces

    By using Li isotopic labelling of SEIs and electrolytes followed by time-of-flight secondary-ion mass spectroscopy and solid-state NMR analyses, we found that the majority of Li+ “immobilized” in the chemical ingredients were exchanged after 1 SEI formation cycle. Ion exchange by diffusion based on concentration … Read More