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Room-temperature lithium metal battery closer to reality

Rechargeable lithium metal batteries have been known for four decades to offer energy storage capabilities far superior to today’s workhorse lithium-ion technology that powers our smartphones and laptops. But these batteries are not in common use today because, when recharged, they spontaneously grow treelike bumps called dendrites on the surface of the negative electrode. Over many hours of operation, these dendrites grow to span the space between the negative and positive electrode, causing short-circuiting and a potential safety hazard. Current technology focuses on managing these dendrites by putting up a mechanically strong barrier, normally a ceramic separator, between the negative and

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