Designing high-energy lithium–sulfur batteries
Due to their high energy density and low material cost, lithium–sulfur batteries represent a promising energy storage system for a multitude of emerging applications, ranging from stationary grid storage to mobile electric vehicles. This review aims to summarize major developments in the field of lithium–sulfur batteries, starting from an overview of their electrochemistry, technical challenges and potential solutions, along with some theoretical calculation results to advance our understanding of the material interactions involved. Next, we examine the most extensively-used design strategy: encapsulation of sulfur cathodes in carbon host materials. Other emerging host materials, such as polymeric and inorganic materials, are discussed as well. This is followed by a survey of novel battery configurations, including the use of lithium sulfide cathodes and lithium polysulfide catholytes, as well as recent burgeoning efforts in the modification of separators and protection of lithium metal anodes. Finally, we conclude with an outlook section to offer some insight on the future directions and prospects of lithium–sulfur batteries.