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Metal-Organic-Framework-Derived N‑Doped Hierarchically Porous Carbon Polyhedrons Anchored on Crumpled Graphene Balls as Efficient Selenium Hosts for High-Performance Lithium–Selenium Batteries

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journal contribution
posted on 25.04.2018 by Seung-Keun Park, Jin-Sung Park, Yun Chan Kang
Developing carbon scaffolds showing rational pore structures as cathode hosts is essential for achieving superior electrochemical performances of lithium–selenium (Li–Se) batteries. Hierarchically porous N-doped carbon polyhedrons anchored on crumpled graphene balls (NPC/CGBs) are synthesized by carbonizing a zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 (ZIF-8)/CGB composite precursor, producing an unprecedented effective host matrix for high-performance Li–Se batteries. Mesoporous CGBs obtained by one-pot spray pyrolysis are used as a highly conductive matrix for uniform polyhedral ZIF-8 growth. During carbonization, ZIF-8 polyhedrons on mesoporous CGBs are converted into N-doped carbon polyhedrons showing abundant micropores, forming a high-surface-area, high-pore-volume hierarchically porous NPC/CGB composite whose small unique pores effectively confine Se during melt diffusion, thereby providing conductive electron pathways. Thus, the integrated NPC/CGB-Se composite ensures high Se utilization originating from complete electrochemical reactions between Se and Li ions. The NPC/CGB-Se composite cathode exhibits high discharge capacities (998 and 462 mA h g–1 at the 1st and 1000th cycles, respectively, at a 0.5 C current density), good capacity retention (68%, calculated from the 3rd cycle), and excellent rate capability. A discharge capacity of 409 mA h g–1 is achieved even at an extremely high (15.0 C) current density.