A reverse configuration, lithium thin film battery (300) having a buried lithium anode layer (305) and process for making the same. The present invention is formed from a precursor composite structure (200) made by depositing electrolyte layer (204) onto substrate (201), followed by sequential depositions of cathode layer (203) and current collector (202) on the electrolyte layer. The precursor is subjected to an activation step, wherein a buried lithium anode layer (305) is formed via electroplating a lithium anode layer at the interface of substrate (201) and electrolyte film (204). The electroplating is accomplished by applying a current between anode current collector (201) and cathode current collector (202).
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
 The United States Government has rights in this invention under Contract No. DE-AC36-08GO28308 between the United States Department of Energy and the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC, the Manager and Operator of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.