American Chemical Society
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Nanostructured Li2S Cathodes for Silicon–Sulfur Batteries

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-12-05, 22:00 authored by Hamid Mollania, Chaoqi Zhang, Ruifeng Du, Xueqiang Qi, Junshan Li, Sharona Horta, Maria Ibañez, Caroline Keller, Pascale Chenevier, Majid Oloomi-Buygi, Andreu Cabot
Lithium–sulfur batteries are regarded as an advantageous option for meeting the growing demand for high-energy-density storage, but their commercialization relies on solving the current limitations of both sulfur cathodes and lithium metal anodes. In this scenario, the implementation of lithium sulfide (Li2S) cathodes compatible with alternative anode materials such as silicon has the potential to alleviate the safety concerns associated with lithium metal. In this direction, here, we report a sulfur cathode based on Li2S nanocrystals grown on a catalytic host consisting of CoFeP nanoparticles supported on tubular carbon nitride. Nanosized Li2S is incorporated into the host by a scalable liquid infiltration–evaporation method. Theoretical calculations and experimental results demonstrate that the CoFeP–CN composite can boost the polysulfide adsorption/conversion reaction kinetics and strongly reduce the initial overpotential activation barrier by stretching the Li–S bonds of Li2S. Besides, the ultrasmall size of the Li2S particles in the Li2S–CoFeP–CN composite cathode facilitates the initial activation. Overall, the Li2S–CoFeP–CN electrodes exhibit a low activation barrier of 2.56 V, a high initial capacity of 991 mA h gLi2S–1, and outstanding cyclability with a small fading rate of 0.029% per cycle over 800 cycles. Moreover, Si/Li2S full cells are assembled using the nanostructured Li2S–CoFeP–CN cathode and a prelithiated anode based on graphite-supported silicon nanowires. These Si/Li2S cells demonstrate high initial discharge capacities above 900 mA h gLi2S–1 and good cyclability with a capacity fading rate of 0.28% per cycle over 150 cycles.