Stabilizing dendritic electrodeposition by limiting spatial dimensions in nanostructured electrolytes

Daniel Sharon, Peter Bennington, Shrayesh N. Patel, Paul F. Nealey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The tendency of metals to form uncontrolled dendritic morphologies during electrodeposition hinders the development of safe and reliable metal batteries. Multiphase nanostructured electrolytes can suppress dendritic growth if the mechanical modulus of the electrolyte is high relative to that of the metal or if the conducting channels are confined to nanoscale dimensions. Direct visualization and analysis of electrodeposition within polymeric nanostructures elucidates the structure-property relationships and mechanisms underlying the suppression of dendrite growth. Here, we fabricate precisely structured multiphase films composed of nanochannels of a polymeric electrolyte in a background of nonconductive polymer on top of coplanar electrodes. The devices enable imaging and analysis of electrodeposition behavior as a function of channel width by scanning electron microscopy. We find that electrodeposition is confined to individual conductive channels and that radial propagation of the dendritic morphology is suppressed in channels for which the width is smaller than the characteristic dendritic nucleation size.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2889-2896
Number of pages8
JournalACS Energy Letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - 11 Sep 2020
Externally publishedYes

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Copyright © 2020 American Chemical Society.


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