Lithium metal is the ideal anode for future high-energy-density lithium batteries as it has the highest theoretical capacity and the lowest electrochemical potential. However, its practical applications are hindered by dendrite formation, infinite relative dimension change during lithium plating/striping, and the highly reactive nature of lithium. While various strategies have been employed to address the aforementioned issues, there has been lack of fundamental understandings and model systems on Li metal anodes. Che-Ning’s research at Stanford will focus on investigating the underlying mechanism for lithium dendrite formation and SEI (solid electrolyte interphase) growth using materials with tunable mechanical and chemical properties. The understandings will guide the design of battery materials that are mechanically strong to suppress the dendrite growth while sufficiently flexible to accommodate volume change during cycling, and electrochemically stable for SEI stabilization.