Understanding and applying coulombic efficiency in lithium metal batteries

Jie Xiao*, Qiuyan Li, Yujing Bi, Mei Cai, Bruce Dunn, Tobias Glossmann, Jun Liu, Tetsuya Osaka, Ryuta Sugiura, Bingbin Wu, Jihui Yang, Ji Guang Zhang, M. Stanley Whittingham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

469 Citations (Scopus)


Coulombic efficiency (CE) has been widely used in battery research as a quantifiable indicator for the reversibility of batteries. While CE helps to predict the lifespan of a lithium-ion battery, the prediction is not necessarily accurate in a rechargeable lithium metal battery. Here, we discuss the fundamental definition of CE and unravel its true meaning in lithium-ion batteries and a few representative configurations of lithium metal batteries. Through examining the similarities and differences of CE in lithium-ion batteries and lithium metal batteries, we establish a CE measuring protocol with the aim of developing high-energy long-lasting practical lithium metal batteries. The understanding of CE and the CE protocol are broadly applicable in other rechargeable metal batteries including Zn, Mg and Na batteries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-568
Number of pages8
JournalNature Energy
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Aug 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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