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Current status and future directions of multivalent metal-ion batteries

A Publisher Correction to this article was published on 30 July 2020

This article has been updated


Batteries based on multivalent metals have the potential to meet the future needs of large-scale energy storage, due to the relatively high abundance of elements such as magnesium, calcium, aluminium and zinc in the Earth’s crust. However, the complexity of multivalent metal-ion chemistries has led to rampant confusions, technical challenges, and eventually doubts and uncertainties about the future of these technologies. In this Review, we clarify the key strengths as well as common misconceptions of multivalent metal-based batteries. We then examine the growth behaviour of metal anodes, which is crucial for their safety promises but hitherto unestablished. We further discuss scrutiny of anode efficiency and cathode storage mechanism pertaining to complications arising from electrolyte solutions. Finally, we critically review existing cathode materials and discuss design strategies to enable genuine multivalent metal-ion-based energy storage materials with competitive performance.

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Fig. 1: Electrochemical characteristics comparison.
Fig. 2: Typical plating morphologies of multivalent metal-ion metals.
Fig. 3: Electrochemical characterization methods for metal−electrolyte solutions systems.
Fig. 4: Schematic illustration of the mechanisms that enable multivalent metal-ion cathodes.

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This work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), as part of the Battery 500 Consortium under Contract DE-EE0008234. We acknowledge Mr. Karun Kumar Rao for the assistance in preparing Fig. 4a–h.

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Correspondence to Doron Aurbach or Yan Yao.

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Y.Y. has an equity interest in Polymax Energy Inc. Y.Y.’s relationship with Polymax Energy Inc. has been reviewed and approved by the University of Houston in accordance with its conflict of interest policies.

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Liang, Y., Dong, H., Aurbach, D. et al. Current status and future directions of multivalent metal-ion batteries. Nat Energy 5, 646–656 (2020).

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