Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Utility Navigation Skip to Top Navigation
Los Alamos National LaboratoryCenter for Integrated Nanotechnologies
Helping you understand, create, and characterize nanomaterials

2020 Highlights

A selection of CINT science highlights from staff and user research.

CINT Contact  

  • John Watt
  • Soft, Biological, and Composite Nanomaterials Thrust
  • Email

Frustrating Harmful Dendrite Formation in Potassium Ion Batteries

Scientific Achievement

A novel technology has been developed for potassium ion batteries which reduces dendrite formation, a key factor in premature battery failure.

Significance and Impact

A 3D copper current collector is functionalized to become potassiophilic, which promotes 2D layer-by-layer growth, and geometrically frustrates 3D dendrite growth.

Research Details

The image shows how 3D mesh-like copper is functionalized with partially reduced graphene oxide.
  • The tailored current collector stabilizes metal plating-stripping behavior in a conventional KPF6-carbonate electrolyte.
  • The image shows how 3D mesh-like copper is functionalized with partially reduced graphene oxide (rGO) to yield a novel rGo@3D-Cu current collector.
  • This achieves state-of-the-art plating and stripping performance; half-cells cells are stable at 0.5 mA cm−2 for 10 000 min (100 cycles), and at 1 mA cm−2 for 5000 min whereas standard bare, planar Cu foil fails as early as 1410 min.

Publication: Liu P, Wang Y, Gu Q, Nanda J, Watt J, Mitlin D. Dendrite-Free Potassium Metal Anodes in a Carbonate Electrolyte. Advanced Materials. 2020 Feb;32(7):1906735. [DOI: 10.1002/adma.201906735]

Funding: D.M. (research conception and guidance, manuscript preparation), P.L., and Y.W. (synthesis, electrochemical analysis) were supported by theU.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering under Award # DE-SC0018074. SEM analysis was performed (J.W.) at the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, an Office of Science User Facility operated for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science. Los Alamos National Laboratory, an affirmative action equal opportunity employer, is managed by Triad National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s NNSA, under contract 89233218CNA000001. J.N. (Raman spectroscopy and electrochemical evaluation) is supported by Energy Storage Program, Office of Electricity, Department of Energy.