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Patterned macroporous Fe3C/C membrane-induced high ionic conductivity for integrated Li–sulfur battery cathodes

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Abstract

To realize an Al-free cathode and to push forward the Li–S battery technology for practical applications, a multifunctional three-layer-structured Fe3C/C membrane was prepared at a large-scale via a facile phase-inversion method. The scalable yet flexible self-supporting Fe3C/C membrane is an ideal Al foil-free cathode material for high-energy and long cycling Li–S batteries. The conductive dense layer of the Fe3C/C membrane can replace the Al foil as a current collector and the finger-like macropores can host most of the sulfur active material (1.5–3.0 mg cm−2), thus buffering the volume expansion of the sulfur species and facilitating the ion/electrolyte transport for fast reaction kinetics; meanwhile, the sponge-like pores in the top layer of the composite membrane enable further S slurry loading. Density functional theory simulation (DFT) and Li2S6 adsorption measurements reveal that the doped Fe3C species in the composite membrane could effectively immobilize the S species and suppress the shuttle effect of the soluble polysulfides (LiPSs). The rationally designed Fe3C/C membrane cathodes could deliver a capacity of ∼601 mA h g−1 at 1C after 200 cycles even at a high sulfur loading of 3.4 mg cm−2, with a high areal capacity of 2.1 mA h cm−2. The cell with the sulfur loading of 3.4 mg cm−2 delivered a gravimetric energy density and volumetric energy density of 850 W h kg−1 and 1223 W h L−1, respectively. The self-supporting membrane cathode with simultaneous commercial S filling and S/C slurry coating provides an alternative sulfur loading approach for battery assembly, thus presenting a useful strategy for practical applications in high energy-density and long cycling Li–S batteries.

Graphical abstract: Patterned macroporous Fe3C/C membrane-induced high ionic conductivity for integrated Li–sulfur battery cathodes

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Publication details

The article was received on 09 Jun 2019, accepted on 21 Jul 2019 and first published on 23 Jul 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C9TA06140A
J. Mater. Chem. A, 2019, Advance Article

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    Patterned macroporous Fe3C/C membrane-induced high ionic conductivity for integrated Li–sulfur battery cathodes

    W. Kou, G. Chen, Y. Liu, W. Guan, X. Li, N. Zhang and G. He, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9TA06140A

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