Rechargeable lithium metal anode (LMA) based batteries have attracted great attention as next-generation high-energy-density storage systems to fuel the extensive practical applications in portable electronics and electric vehicles. However, the formation of unstable solid-electrolyte- interphase (SEI) and growth of lithium dendrite during plating/stripping cycles stimulate safety concern, poor coulombic efficiency (CE), and short lifespan of the lithium metal batteries (LMBs). To address these issues, the rational design of micro/nanostructured Li hosts are widely adopted in LMBs. The high surface area of the interconnected conductive framework can homogenize the Li-ion flux distribution, lower the effective current density, and provides sufficient space for Li accommodation. However, the poor lithiophilicity of the micro/nanostructure host cannot govern the initial lithium nucleation, which leads to the non-uniform/dendritic Li deposition and unstable SEI formation. As a result, the nucleation overpotential and voltage hysteresis increases, which eventually leads to poor battery cycling performance. Thus, it is imperative to decorate a micro/nanostructured Li host with lithiophilic coatings or seeds for serving as a homogeneous nucleation site to guide the uniform lithium deposition. In this review, we summarize research progress on porous metal and non-metal based lithiophilic micro/nanostructured Li hosts. We present the synthesis, structural properties, and the significance of lithiophilic decorated micro/nanostructured Li host in the LMBs. Finally, the perspectives and critical challenges needed to address for the further improvement of LMBs are concluded.
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