Effect of Metal Nanoparticles on the Polysulfide Conversion Reactions in Rechargeable Li-Sulfur Batteries

Monday, 25 May 2015: 11:40
Salon A-3 (Hilton Chicago)
H. al Salem (Wayne state university), C. venkateswara Rao, B. Ganguli (wayne state university), and L. M. R. Arava (Wayne State University)
Rechargeable lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries have emerged as the most promising electrochemical energy storage systems due to their high energy density, wide range of temperature operation, cost effectiveness, and eco-friendly in nature. Nevertheless, the drawbacks associated with the Li-S batteries such as insulating nature of sulfur species, corrosive nature of predeposited polysulfides at electrodes during discharge-charge processes, and formation of thick SEI layer still need to be circumvented. One of the promising ways to alleviate these problems is to use highly porous, conductive, and active species which can improve the kinetics of polysulfide conversion reactions and diffusion processes. In this context, we have investigated electronically conductive species incorporated graphene, specifically Metal/graphene hybrids (metal = Pt, Ni, and Co) as cathode in Li-S batteries and performed systematic studies to understand the electrochemical behavior of polysulfides during discharge-charge processes.

Metal/graphene hybrids were prepared through wet chemical routes and employed them as electrodes for the conversion of polysulfides in Li-S batteries. Structural and morphological techniques depicted phase purity of the materials and well-dispersed metallic nanocrystallites with an average size of 5 nm on the graphene sheets. Electrochemical studies were carried out by assembling Li/sulfur cells inside glove box using a porous metal/graphene as electrodes cathode, 0.6M Li2S8-1M LiTFSI in TEGDME as electrolyte, and metallic lithium as anode. Galvanostatic discharge-charge tests indicated a two-fold increment in the Li-S battery performance with metal/graphene compared to pure graphene. A high discharge capacity of 750 mAh/g at C-rates of C/10 has been observed with Pt/graphene. The studies on metal/graphene based Li-S battery revealed pivotal role of metallic nanoparticles in enhancing the polysulfide conversion processes.

# - Corresponding Author - leela.arava@wayne.edu