Metal Oxide Aerogels: A New Horizon for Stabilizing Anodes in Rechargeable Zinc Metal Batteries

Zhenhai Shi, Suli Chen, Zijian Xu, Zhanming Liu, Junhong Guo, Jian Yin, Pengwu Xu, Nan Zhang, Wenli Zhang, Husam N. Alshareef, Tianxi Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Dendritic deposition and side reactions have been long-standing interfacial challenges of Zn anode, which have prevented the development of practical aqueous zinc-based batteries. Herein, an oxygen vacancy-rich CeO2 aerogel (VAG-Ce) interface layer that simultaneously integrates Zn2+ selectivity, porosity, and is lightweight is reported as a new strategy to achieve dendrite-free and corrosion-free Zn anodes. The well-defined and uniform nanochannels of VAG-Ce can act as ion sieves that redistribute Zn2+ at the Zn anode surface by regulating Zn2+ flux, leading to uniform Zn deposition and significantly suppressing dendrite growth. Importantly, the abundant oxygen vacancies exposed on VAG-Ce surface can strongly capture SO42−, forming a negatively charged layer that can attract Zn2+ and accelerate the Zn2+ migration kinetics, while the subsequent repulsion of additional anions can effectively suppress the generation of (Zn4SO4(OH)6·xH2O) byproducts, thereby realizing very stable Zn anodes. Consequently, VAG-Ce modified Zn anode (VAG-Ce@Zn) enables a long-term lifespan over 4000 h at 4 mA cm−2 and a record-high cycle life of 1200 h is achieved under an ultrahigh 85% Zn utilization at 8 mA cm−2, which enables excellent capacity retention and cycling performance of VAG@Zn/MnO2 cells. This work contributes an innovative design concept by introducing oxygen vacancy-rich aerogels and provides a new horizon for stabilizing Zn anode for large-scale energy storage.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAdvanced Energy Materials
StatePublished - Apr 7 2023

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-04-10
Acknowledgements: This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (52203261) and Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (BK20210474). The authors thank the Central Laboratory, School of Chemical and Material Engineering, Jiangnan University. Research reported in this publication was also supported by King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Materials Science


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