A high capacity thiospinel cathode for Mg batteries†
Magnesium batteries are energy storage systems that potentially offer high energy density owing to their ability to employ magnesium metal as a negative electrode. Their development, however, has been thwarted by a paucity of functional positive electrode materials after the seminal discovery of the Mo6S8 Chevrel phase over 15 years ago. Herein, we report the second such material – a thiospinel – and demonstrate fully reversible Mg2+ electrochemical cycling vs. a Mg anode, which is complemented by diffraction and first principles calculations. The capacity approaches 80% of the theoretical value at a practical rate (C/5) at 60 °C, and yields a specific energy of 230 Wh kg−1, twice that of the Chevrel benchmark. Our results emphasize the advantage in employing “soft” anions to achieve practical divalent cation mobility.