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Issue 3, 2016
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Partially unzipped carbon nanotubes for high-rate and stable lithium–sulfur batteries

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Abstract

Lithium–sulfur (Li–S) batteries are attractive due to a high theoretical energy density and low sulfur cost. However, they have critical drawbacks such as drastic capacity fading during cycling, especially under high current density conditions. We report a suitable carbon matrix based on partially unzipped multi-walled carbon nanotubes (UZ.CNTs), which have favorable properties compared to multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and fully unzipped nanoribbons (UZ.NRs). Partially unzipped walls of MWCNTs lead to increased surface area and pore volume with a retained electron conduction pathway. This also provides accessible inner pores as a stable reservoir for polysulfides. This reservoir is decorated with newly introduced oxygen containing functional groups, and affords a synergistic effect of shortening the depth that electrons penetrate and interacting with polysulfides for high-performance Li–S batteries. The synergistic effect is revealed by Monte Carlo simulations. The resulting partially unzipped MWCNT sulfur composite delivers 707.5 mA h g−1 at the initial discharge and retains 570.4 mA h g−1 after 200 cycles even at a high current rate of 5C (8375 mA g−1).

Graphical abstract: Partially unzipped carbon nanotubes for high-rate and stable lithium–sulfur batteries

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Publication details

The article was received on 29 Sep 2015, accepted on 01 Nov 2015 and first published on 03 Nov 2015


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5TA07818K
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2016,4, 819-826
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    Partially unzipped carbon nanotubes for high-rate and stable lithium–sulfur batteries

    Y. C. Jeong, K. Lee, T. Kim, J. H. Kim, J. Park, Y. S. Cho, S. J. Yang and C. R. Park, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2016, 4, 819
    DOI: 10.1039/C5TA07818K

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