A MIL-47(V) derived hierarchical lasagna-structured V2O3@C hollow microcuboid as an efficient sulfur host for high-performance lithium–sulfur batteries†
Lithium–sulfur batteries are promising candidates for the next generation of energy storage systems owing to their high energy density, low toxicity and abundant reserves of sulfur. However, sulfur has poor conductivity, large volume change during charge/discharge, and more importantly, the intermediate polysulfide (Li2Sn, 3 ≤ n≤8) produced in the cycling process is easily soluble in the electrolyte resulting in the “shuttle effect”, which have greatly limited the commercialization of lithium–sulfur batteries. Therefore, it is of great value to develop optimized sulfur cathode materials to improve electrode conductivity, buffer volume change and restrain the diffusion of polysulfide. In this work, we construct a V-MOF (MIL-47) derived V2O3@C hollow microcuboid with a hierarchical lasagna-like structure through hydrothermal synthesis followed by calcination, and employ it as a sulfur host for the first time. The fast anchoring of polysulfide by V2O3 nanoparticles and the high electronic conductivity of the 3D carbon framework can simultaneously inhibit the “shuttle effect” in the charge–discharge process and accelerate the kinetics of the redox process. Moreover, the special lasagna-like structure with appropriate voids generated during calcination not only provides many sites for sulfur loading, but also effectively alleviates the volume expansion problem during the electrochemical reaction. Therefore, the final fabricated sulfur cathode via the melt impregnation method exhibits good cycling stability (62.3% after 1000 cycles at 1C) and rate performance (663 mA h g−1 at 2C) at a relatively high sulfur loading of 3.7 mg cm−2.