The safe and affordable aqueous zinc-ion batteries (ZIBs) are highly desirable for complementing lithium-ion batteries. Nevertheless, Zn anode encounters severe dendrite growth in aqueous media, impeding the practical implementation of ZIBs. Herein, we prepared the metal-free aqueous ZIBs, where the MoTe1.7 with tellurium vacancies from the laser reduction serves as the negative electrode. The metal-free tactics bypass the hazards of Zn metal, and laser-radiated Te vacancies boost capacity, stability, conductivity, and diffusion kinetics of the electrode. The laser-reduced MoTe1.7 electrode shows a high reversible capacity (338 mAh g–1 at 0.2 A g–1) and outstanding cycling stability (96% retention for 10,000 cycles at 1 A g–1). The conversion chemistry is confirmed as the charge-storage mechanism of the MoTe1.7 electrode in aqueous ZIBs. As expected, the as-fabricated MoTe1.7//ZnxMnO2 pouch-type full cell delivers a superb energy density (electrode level) of 137 Wh kg–1, higher than those of the state-of-the-art metal-free ZIBs. The high capacity retention of 95% is achieved over 1000 cycles in pouch cells, verifying the enormous application prospect of the laser-reduced MoTe1.7 anode. This finding may accelerate the development process of rechargeable aqueous ZIBs.
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