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Efficient polysulfide barrier of a graphene aerogel–carbon nanofibers–Ni network for high-energy-density lithium–sulfur batteries with ultrahigh sulfur content

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Abstract

Low sulfur loading and content, as well as severe shuttle effects, remain the key issues for the application of lithium–sulfur (Li–S) batteries, resulting in a low areal capacity and fast capacity fade. Herein, a highly efficient conductive network is developed by growing herringbone structured carbon nanofibers (CNFs) on the surface of graphene aerogel (GA–CNFs–Ni) and is further applied as a functional coating layer in Li–S batteries. The conductive coating layer, serves as both a shield to trap the active materials detached from the cathode and a conductive “second current collector” to reactivate the trapped active materials. The herringbone structured CNFs enriched with defects and gaps enlarge the available reaction site for electrons, the electrolyte and sulfur species, ensuring the smooth operation of the sulfur cathode with high loading and high content. In addition, the uniformly distributed Ni nanoparticles also exert strong chemical bonding with polysulfides by first-principle calculations. Consequently, the GA–CNFs–Ni coated separator enables the “double high” sulfur cathode (5 mg cm−2, 90 wt%) to display an ultrastable cycle capability and superior rate performance. Moreover, a high sulfur loading of 10 mg cm−2 and a low electrolyte/sulfur (E/S) ratio (6 μL mg−1) are obtained, delivering a high areal capacity of 5.5 mA h cm−2 after 60 cycles.

Graphical abstract: Efficient polysulfide barrier of a graphene aerogel–carbon nanofibers–Ni network for high-energy-density lithium–sulfur batteries with ultrahigh sulfur content

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Publication details

The article was received on 19 Aug 2018, accepted on 04 Oct 2018 and first published on 04 Oct 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8TA08048H
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Advance Article
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    Efficient polysulfide barrier of a graphene aerogel–carbon nanofibers–Ni network for high-energy-density lithium–sulfur batteries with ultrahigh sulfur content

    Y. Zhang, R. Wang, W. Tang, L. Zhan, S. Zhao, Q. Kang, Y. Wang and S. Yang, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8TA08048H

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