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Ultrathin bismuth nanosheets as an efficient polysulfide catalyst for high performance lithium–sulfur batteries

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Abstract

Although many materials have sprung up as catalysts to improve polysulfide conversion in lithium–sulfur batteries, the catalytic mechanism is vague and a universal and efficient catalyst is still absent. Herein, we developed ultrathin polycrystalline bismuth (2D-Bi) nanosheets (thickness of ∼4 nm) as an electrocatalyst for polysulfide conversion. Such a 2D polycrystalline structure not only absorbs and immobilizes soluble polysulfides but also accelerates multistep polysulfide redox reactions, greatly inhibiting the polysulfide shuttling during charge–discharge cycles. Furthermore, we gained an in-depth understanding of the distinctive electrocatalysis mechanism of 2D-Bi nanosheets by steady-state and dynamic electrochemical testing methods. The results showed that with the 2D-Bi electrocatalyst, the exchange current density (i0) and electron transfer number (n) (i0 > 3 mA cm−2, n = 6.6 at 2.1 V) were significantly enhanced. As a consequence, a 2D-Bi modified Li–S battery exhibited good electrochemical performance with high reversible capacity, stable cycle life and superb rate performance (retaining a capacity of 408 mA h g−1 after 500 cycles at 10C). Ultimately, a deep exploration and comprehension of the interior redox process as well as the conversion mechanism of sulfides provided a great avenue for accelerating the large-scale application of Li–S batteries in the near future.

Graphical abstract: Ultrathin bismuth nanosheets as an efficient polysulfide catalyst for high performance lithium–sulfur batteries

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Publication details

The article was received on 08 Oct 2019, accepted on 14 Nov 2019 and first published on 14 Nov 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C9TA11079H
J. Mater. Chem. A, 2020, Advance Article

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    Ultrathin bismuth nanosheets as an efficient polysulfide catalyst for high performance lithium–sulfur batteries

    H. Xu, S. Yang and B. Li, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9TA11079H

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