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Nanospace-Confinement Copolymerization Strategy for Encapsulating Polymeric Sulfur into Porous Carbon for Lithium–Sulfur Batteries

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journal contribution
posted on 03.06.2015, 00:00 authored by Bing Ding, Zhi Chang, Guiyin Xu, Ping Nie, Jie Wang, Jin Pan, Hui Dou, Xiaogang Zhang
Given their high theoretical energy density, lithium–sulfur (Li–S) batteries have recently attracted ever-increasing research interest. However, the dissolution of polysulfides and uncontrolled deposition of insoluble discharge product significantly hinder the cycling stability. Herein, a nanospace-confinement copolymerization strategy for encapsulating polymeric sulfur into porous carbon matrix is presented. The morphologies and sulfur contents of carbon/polymeric sulfur (C/PS) composites could be readily tailored by controlling the copolymerization time. Confining polymeric sulfur in the porous carbon with abundant interparticle pores facilitates rapid electronic/ionic transport and mitigates dissolution of polysulfides intermediates. More importantly, the organic sulfur units dispersed in the insoluble/insulating Li2S2/Li2S phase could prevent its irreversible deposition. Such nanostructure with tailored chemistry property permits the C/PS electrodes to exhibit enhanced cycling stability and high rate capability. The nanospace-confinement copolymerization strategy features general and facial advantages, which may provide new opportunities for the future development of advanced sulfur cathodes.