Lithium metal has been regarded as one of the most promising anode materials for high-energy-density batteries due to its extremely high theoretical gravimetric capacity of 3860 mAh·g−1 along with its low electrochemical potential of − 3.04 V. Unfortunately, uncontrollable Li dendrite growth and repetitive destruction/formation of the solid electrolyte interphase layer lead to poor safety and low Coulombic efficiencies (CEs) for long-term utilization, which largely restricts the practical applications of lithium metal anode. In this review, we comprehensively summarized important progresses achieved to date in suppressing Li dendrite growth. Strategies for protection of Li metal anodes include designing porous structured hosts, fabricating artificial solid electrolyte interface (SEI) layers, introducing electrolyte additives, using solid-state electrolytes and applying external fields. The protection of Li metal anodes can be achieved by regulating the stripping and deposition behaviours of Li ions. Finally, the challenges remaining for lithium metal battery systems and future perspectives for Li metal anodes in practical applications are outlined, which are expected to shed light on future research in this field.
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