Sustainable Performance of Li-S Battery Using Ultramicroporous Carbon-Sulphur Composite Electrode in Carbonate Based Electrolyte

Monday, 25 May 2015: 08:40
Salon A-3 (Hilton Chicago)
H. Maria Joseph, A. R. Munnangi (Helmholtz Institute Ulm (HIU)), T. Diemant (Institute of Surface Chemistry and Catalysis, University of Ulm), R. Jürgen Behm (Helmholtz Institute Ulm (HIU), University of Ulm), and M. Fichtner (Helmholtz Institute Ulm (HIU), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT))
Lithium-sulphur (Li-S) batteries are being considered for high-energy storage applications due to the high theoretical specific capacity (1672 mAh g-1) and energy density (2600 Wh kg‑1) of sulphur.1-3 However, the Li-S battery technology suffers from poor cycle life.4,5 The electrochemical reaction of lithium with cyclic octa sulphur (S8) leads to the formation of higher order polysulphides (Li2Sx, x=4-8). These higher order polysulphides are highly soluble in liquid electrolytes and lead to the continuous depletion of the active material and trigger unwanted side reactions. Development of a sustainable cathode is the key factor for the advancement of Li-S batteries. Many efforts were put into the improvement of the Li-S batteries. One promising approach is microporous carbon confined sulphur, which eliminates the formation of higher order polysulphides.6

Herein, we report an easily scalable, inexpensive ultramicroporous carbon confined sulphur composite cathode and its sustainable performance in Li-S cell using commercial carbonate based electrolyte. The ultramicroporous carbon sulphur (UC-S) composite with a sulphur loading of 46 % exhibits a reversible capacity of 700 mAh g-1 at C/5 (335 mA g-1) even after 100 cycles (Figure 1). The observed cycling stability was attributed to the direct formation of low order polysulphides (Li2S2/ Li2S) during the discharge process of UC-S cathode. For the first time we have examined and validated the lithiation/delithiation mechanism and the mechanism of capacity fading over cycling for sulphur confined in microporous carbon cathode by analysing the subsurface using XPS.


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