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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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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