Electrodeposition involving an electrolyte having a surface-smoothing additive can result in self-healing, instead of self-amplification, of initial protuberant tips that give rise to roughness and/or dendrite formation on the substrate and/or film surface. For electrodeposition of a first conductive material (C1) on a substrate from one or more reactants in an electrolyte solution, the electrolyte solution is characterized by a surface-smoothing additive containing cations of a second conductive material (C2), wherein cations of C2 have an effective electrochemical reduction potential in the solution lower than that of the reactants.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
 This invention was made with Government support under Contract DE-AC0576RLO1830 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.