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Construction of low-defect and highly conductive 3D graphene network to enable great-sulphur-content cathode for high performance Li–S/graphene batteries

Abstract

A main huddle in practical exploitation of Li-S batteries lies in the difficulty in loading adequately large percentage of sulfur in the cathode, without detrimental impact upon the overall structural integrity over charge-discharge cycles. Here we demonstrate that as high as 88.5 wt.% of sulfur could be effectively coupled with high-conductivity graphene (HCG) powder, using a simple one-step ball milling process to obtain sea-sponge like composites wherein sulfur was effectively accommodated within a framework of three-dimensional (3D) networks of interconnected graphene flakes. On the basis of extremely low defect density, high C/O ratio (24.64) and ultrahigh electrical conductivity (2.05×105 S/m), the HCG networks provided 3D super-highways for ionic and electronic transport, while enabling self-healing to help maintain structural integrity. The mechanical alloying effects resulted in S incorporation into the graphene lattice, thus helped to retain polysulfides within the cathodes. This resulted in highly effective utilization of the sulfur in cathode, so that Li-S/HCG battery cells were realized to deliver remarkable high full-cathode capacity, high areal capacity and energy density, excellent rate-performance and great cycling stability (4.78 mAh/cm2 and 1642 Wh/kg at sulfur load of 6.0 mg/cm2; 555.7 mAh/g at 5 C; 519 mAh/g at 2 C after 500 cycles).

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Publication details

The article was received on 17 Jul 2018, accepted on 07 Sep 2018 and first published on 11 Sep 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8TA06869K
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Construction of low-defect and highly conductive 3D graphene network to enable great-sulphur-content cathode for high performance Li–S/graphene batteries

    S. Zhang, W. Xiao, Y. Zhang, K. Liu, X. Zhang, J. Zhao, Z. Wang, P. Zhang and G. Shao, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8TA06869K

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