ADVERTISEMENT

Developing The Next Generation High-Performance Lithium-Sulfur Batteries

With the fast development and wide application of portable electronic devices and green electric vehicles, the demands of a high energy-storage system are increasing gradually. Among various chemical energy-storage technology, lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries have been one of the most promising next-generation candidates, owing to many conspicuous merits including high theoretical capacity (1675 mAh g-1), inexpensive sulfur, and environmental friendliness.

Unfortunately, many obstacles such as inherent insulativity of sulfur, shuttle effect of polysulfides, especially low content and low loading of active sulfur still hinder the practical application of Li-S batteries. In this regard, self-supported sulfur cathodes without any binder and Al foil current collector have attracted considerable interest in Li-S batteries.

ADVERTISEMENT

Recently, Ph.D Mingwu Xiang, Prof. Hao Wu, Prof. Heng Liu and Prof. Yun Zhang team at the Department of Advanced Energy Materials, College of Materials Science and Engineering, Sichuan University, China, constructed a novel 3D flexible multifunctional hybrid that consists of in-situ N-doped carbon [email protected] nanotubes decorated with magnesium oxide nanoparticles ([email protected]/MgO) via a facile liquid phase immersion/adsorption method combined with the pyrolysis of commercial melamine foam. This hybrid can be used as an advanced carbon matrix for high sulfur areal loading of 14.4 mg cm-2 (78 wt% in sulfur content) due to these following merits.

Firstly, the hybrid has superior flexibility and abundant internal void that is directly served as the freestanding electrode and alleviate the volume change of sulfur during cycling.

Secondly, the dense CNTs coating layers on the carbon skeletons not only allow an interconnected 3D conductive network to boost electronic/ionic transport but also offer sufficient active sites to guarantee more sulfur loading.

Thirdly, the homogeneous decoration of MgO nanoparticles throughout the hybrid and the in-situ N-doping in carbon skeleton enable the unique trapping capability of polysulfide species while alleviating the notorious shuttling effect. Finally, the fabrication of the corresponding [email protected]/MgO-based sulfur cathode ([email protected]/MgO-S) is also extremely facile and efficient, especially regarding the easy control over the sulfur loading. When used as a cathode for Li-S batteries, the best long-life span cycling performance with an extremely low decay rate of 0.06% up to 800 cycles at 2 C is obtained.

ADVERTISEMENT

Importantly, when the sulfur loading and sulfur content are elevated to 14.4 mg cm-2, the [email protected]/MgO-S electrode manifests a high initial areal capacity of 10.4 mAh cm-2, and still retains a high gravimetric capacity of 612 mAh g-1 and areal capacity of 8.8 mAh cm-2 after 50 cycles at 0.05 C, which is almost twice higher than that of commercial lithium-ion batteries.

The use of a flexible soft-packaged Li-S battery is easily and readily assembled. This highlights the stable electrochemical characteristics under both bending and folding. The as-built [email protected]/MgO hybrid architecture has great potential as electrode materials for next-generation Li-S batteries.

This study, A Flexible 3D Multifunctional MgO-Decorated Carbon [email protected] Hybrid as Self-Supported Cathode for High-Performance Lithium-Sulfur Batteries¬†was recently published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.

Comments

READ THIS NEXT

Airport Noise Modelling For Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment Of Aviation

Aircraft noise is usually the main environmental concern for communities living near airports.¬† Among the primary effects of aircraft noise, […]

Cursive Alphabet: Your Guide To Cursive Writing

Learning the cursive alphabet is the best guide to cursive writing. Many people approach cursive writing as a way to […]

The Changing Landscape For High Street And Town Centre Businesses

A notable question facing business corporations seeking to operate transnationally is that of how to cope with variances in how […]

Labeled Neuron Diagram

Neurons are the basic organizational units of the brain and nervous system. Neurons form the bulk of all nervous tissue […]

UCLA’s Top Scientific Research Of 2017: A Year In Review

As 2017 has come to a close, we can look back and remark on the many great achievements that came […]

Does The Arrow Of Time Apply To Quantum Systems?

Does the arrow of time still point forward even in quantum systems? A new experiment seems to imply yes, quantum […]

Multi-talker Speech As A Distraction In Open-plan Offices?

While ease of collaboration may have been a driving principle in open-plan design philosophy, this design has also been directly […]

Science Trends is a popular source of science news and education around the world. We cover everything from solar power cell technology to climate change to cancer research. We help hundreds of thousands of people every month learn about the world we live in and the latest scientific breakthroughs. Want to know more?