Lithiophilic MXene-Guided Lithium Metal Nucleation and Growth Behavior

Son Ha, Daesin Kim, Hyung Kyu Lim, Chong Min Koo, Seon Joon Kim, Young Soo Yun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


The positive effects of a lithiophilic substrate on the electrochemical performance of lithium metal anodes are confirmed in several reports, while the understanding of lithiophilic substrate-guided lithium metal nucleation and growth behavior is still insufficient. In this study, the effect of a lithiophilic surface on lithium metal nucleation and growth behaviors is investigated using a large-area Ti3C2Tx MXene substrate with a large number of oxygen and fluorine dual heteroatoms. The use of the MXene substrate results in a high lithium-ion concentration as well as the formation of uniform solid–electrolyte-interface (SEI) layers on the lithiophilic surface. The solid–solid interface (MXene-SEI layer) significantly affects the surface tension of the deposited lithium metal nuclei as well as the nucleation overpotential, resulting in the formation of uniformly dispersed lithium nanoparticles (≈10–20 nm in diameter) over the entire MXene surface. The primary lithium nanoparticles preferentially coalesce and agglomerate into larger secondary particles while retaining their primary particle shapes. Subsequently, they form close-packed structures, resulting in a dense metal layer composed of particle-by-particle microstructures. This distinctive lithium metal deposition behavior leads to highly reversible cycling performance with high Columbic efficiencies > 99.0% and long cycle lives of over 1000 cycles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2101261
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number32
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Aug 9

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
S.H. and D.K. contributed equally to this work. This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (Nos. 2019R1A2C1084836, 2021R1A4A2001403, and 2021M3H4A1A01079367). This research was also partially supported by the KIST's internal research programs.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Wiley-VCH GmbH


  • MXene
  • SEI layer
  • lithiophilic MXene
  • lithium metal batteries
  • metal anodes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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