High-Performance Li–Se Batteries Enabled by Selenium Storage in Bottom-Up Synthesized Nitrogen-Doped Carbon Scaffolds

Selenium (Se) has great promise to serve as cathode material for rechargeable batteries because of its good conductivity and high theoretical volumetric energy density comparable to sulfur. Herein, we report the preparation of mesoporous nitrogen-doped carbon scaffolds (NCSs) to restrain selenium for advanced lithium–selenium (Li–Se) batteries. The NCSs synthesized by a bottom-up solution-phase method have graphene-like laminar structure and well-distributed mesopores. The unique architecture of NCSs can severe as conductive framework for encapsulating selenium and polyselenides, and provide sufficient pathways to facilitate ion transport. Furthermore, the laminar and porous NCSs can effectively buffer the volume variation during charge/discharge processes. The integrated composite of Se-NCSs has a high Se content and can ensure the complete electrochemical reactions of Se and Li species. When used for Li–Se batteries, the cathodes based on Se-NCSs exhibit high capacity, remarkable cyclability, and excellent rate performance.