The zinc battery life of the Chunyi team of the Hong Kong City Branch has made breakthrough progress

On June 27, 2022, Beijing time, Nano Research Energy ( The team of Professor Chunyi Zhi, editor-in-chief of the journal and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering of the City University of Hong Kong, has made a breakthrough in the direction of zinc battery life. The research group found that there is a strong correlation between the deposition dissolution morphology of zinc and the primary deposition/dissolution behavior, and the proposed pre-deposition strategy can effectively stabilize the zinc anode and improve the life of zinc-based batteries. The results were published in Nature Communications, a top international academic journal, entitled “Tailoring the metal electrode morphology via electrochemical protocol optimization for long-lasting aqueous zinc batteries”, with Professor Chunyi Zhi as the sole corresponding author of the paper.

The zinc metal anode has been recognized as the negative electrode of an ideal zinc-based battery, with a high theoretical capacity of 812 mAh·g–1 and a competitive electrochemical potential of –0.76 V. However, dendrite problems with zinc anodes limit the life of the anode. The researchers proposed many modification strategies from the aspects of electrode design, interface modification, electrolyte modification, etc. to inhibit the growth of zinc dendrites and improve the stability of zinc anode. The focus of the study of these strategies is the deposition behavior of zinc, but zinc-based batteries such as zinc manganese dioxide batteries are in the initial state of charge, so the zinc anode is only an initial step, and the dissolution is the initial step rather than deposition. For zinc anodes, the deposition and dissolution of the initial steps are not completely equivalent. Therefore, the study of the dissolution behavior of the zinc anode is very important for the zinc anode in practical applications.

Recently, professor Zhi Chunyi’s team of the City University of Hong Kong conducted separate studies on the initial deposition and initial dissolution of the zinc anode, and found that the two electrodes have different electrochemical behaviors and different morphological evolutions. For the initial dissolved zinc anode, the zinc dendrite grows in the initial depression, and the inhomogeneity gradually increases with the cycle. For the initially deposited zinc anode, the subsequent deposition of zinc dissolves more uniformly. Based on this finding, the authors further studied the conditions of initial deposition and found that the initial deposition layer formed under high currents was more uniform and dense, so the pre-deposition strategy developed, through which the zinc anode modified by this strategy showed better cycle life in both symmetrical and zinc manganese dioxide batteries.

Figure 1: Schematic diagram of the differences in deposition and dissolution behavior.

Fig. 2: Observe the morphology and voltage change of the initial dissolved zinc anode in situ, and more dendrites form on the surface of the zinc anode after a few laps.

Figure 3: The morphology and voltage change of the initially deposited zinc anode are observed in situ, and the surface of the zinc anode is relatively uniform after several turns.

Figure 4: Morphological evolution of the initially deposited and dissolved zinc electrodes, with a more uniform surface of the initially deposited zinc electrodes.

Figure 5: Screening of pre-deposited zinc anodes for preparation conditions exhibits longer cycle life as well as low overpotential potential in symmetrical cells.

Figure 6: Pre-deposited zinc anodes also exhibit better cycle stability and dendrite resistance in all cells.

Related paper information:

Qing Li; Ao Chen; Donghong Wang; Yuwei Zhao; Xiaoqi Wang; Xu Jin; Bo Xiong; Chunyi Zhi. Tailoring the metal electrode morphology via electrochemical protocol optimization for long-lasting aqueous zinc batteries. Nature Communications, 2022, 13, 3699.

As a sister journal of Nano Research, Nano Research Energy (ISSN: 2791-0091; e-ISSN:2790-8119; Official website: by Tsinghua University in March 2022, Professor Chunyi Zhi of the City University of Hong Kong and Professor Qu Liangti of Tsinghua University co-editor-in-chief. Nano Research Energy is an international multidisciplinary, all-English open access journal, focusing on the cutting-edge research and application of nanomaterials and nanoscience technology in new energy-related fields, benchmarking against the top international energy journals, and committed to publishing high-level original research and review papers. Before 2023, the APC fee will be waived, and all teachers are welcome to submit articles. Please contact:

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