An amorphous SiO2 (a-SiO2) thin film was developed as an artificial passivation layer to stabilize Li metal anodes during electrochemical reactions. The thin film was prepared using an electron cyclotron resonance-chemical vapor deposition apparatus. The obtained passivation layer has a hierarchical structure, which is composed of lithium silicide, lithiated silicon oxide, and a-SiO2. The thickness of the a-SiO2 passivation layer could be varied by changing the processing time, whereas that of the lithium silicide and lithiated silicon oxide layers was almost constant. During cycling, the surface of the a-SiO2 passivation layer is converted into lithium silicate (Li4SiO4), and the portion of Li4SiO4 depends on the thickness of a-SiO2. A minimum overpotential of 21.7 mV was observed at the Li metal electrode at a current density of 3 mA cm-2 with flat voltage profiles, when an a-SiO2 passivation layer of 92.5 nm was used. The Li metal with this optimized thin passivation layer also showed the lowest charge-transfer resistance (3.948 Ω cm) and the highest Li ion diffusivity (7.06 × 10-14 cm2 s-1) after cycling in a Li-S battery. The existence of the Li4SiO4 artificial passivation layer prevents the corrosion of Li metal by suppressing Li dendritic growth and improving the ionic conductivity, which contribute to the low charge-transfer resistance and high Li ion diffusivity of the electrode.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by research grants of NRF (NRF-2017R1A2B2002607, NRF-2015H1D3A1036078) funded by the National Research Foundation under the Ministry of Science and ICT, Republic of Korea, and this work was also supported by Korea Institutional Program (2E28141).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)