Chemical Synthesis of K2S2 and K2S3 for Probing Electrochemical Mechanisms in K–S Batteries
2018-10-16T00:00:00Z (GMT) by
Understanding the properties of polysulfide intermediates is crucial for explaining and optimizing metal–sulfur batteries. Unlike the unstable or inseparable low-order polysulfide intermediates in Li–S systems, the K–S phase diagram displays a series of stable phases of K2Sn (n = 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), which provides the accessibility of an individual polysulfide to investigate the mechanism using pure-phase polysulfides. Herein, we synthesized two key intermediate polysulfides, K2S2 and K2S3, and probed their electrochemical pathways. When K2S2 and K2S3 are coated directly on a current collector, both species can be further reduced. However, when K2S2 and K2S3 are electrically isolated from the current collector, no further reduction is observed, showing the reduction occurs through a solid-state conversion pathway. Interestingly, K2S2 and K2S3 can be charged even when they are electrically isolated from the current collector, proving solution-mediated charging pathways. Only K2S is the “dead” sulfur species that cannot be charged.