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The graphene (G) and oxygen-containing graphene (OG) were obtained by thermal reduction of GO, which was prepared by a modified Hummers method at 1000° and 250°C, respectively. The N-doped graphene (NG) here was obtained by treating the as-obtained graphene (G) with NH3 flowing in a quartz tube.

Two-electrode cells (Li versus G/NG/OG) were used with standard CR2025 coin-type cells (Shenzhen Kejingstar Technology Ltd.), which were assembled in an Ar-filled glove box with O2 and H2O content below 1.0 ppm. The G/NG/OG powder and polyvinylidene fluoride binder (PVDF) (mass ratio of G/NG/OG:PVDF = 5:1) were stirred into a slurry in N-methylpyrrolidone for 24 hours. The slurry was coated onto a Cu foil and dried in a vacuum drying oven at 60°C for 6.0 hours. The as-obtained G/NG/OG-coated Cu foil was punched into disks with a diameter of 13.0 mm as the working electrode. A 0.5-mm-thick Li metal foil with a diameter of 16.0 mm (China Energy Lithium Co. Ltd.) was used as the counter electrode. A 1,3-dioxolane/1,2-dimethoxyethane (v/v = 1:1) (Beijing Chemical Industry Group Co. Ltd.) electrolyte within 1.0 M LiTFSI salt was used in each coin cell.

The coin cells were monitored in galvanostatic mode in Land CT2001 multichannel battery tester. In each galvanostatic cycle, the discharge time was fixed in the lithium plating process, and the charge time in the lithium stripping process was controlled by a cutoff voltage. The nucleation tests with a low current density of 0.5 mA cm−2 were performed on Solartron 1470E electrochemical workstation (Solartron Analytical, UK) for 2 hours.

The morphology was characterized by a JEM 2010 (JEOL Ltd., Tokyo, Japan) TEM operated at 120.0 kV. N2 isotherms of OG, NG, and G were obtained at −196°C (77 K) with an Autosorb-IQ2-MPC system (Quantachrome, USA). The specific surface area was determined by the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller method.

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