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SnO2/Reduced Graphene Oxide Interlayer Mitigating the Shuttle Effect of Li–S Batteries

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journal contribution
posted on 17.05.2018, 00:00 by Nana Hu, Xingshuai Lv, Ying Dai, Linlin Fan, Dongbin Xiong, Xifei Li
The short cycle life of lithium–sulfur batteries (LSBs) plagues its practical application. In this study, a uniform SnO2/reduced graphene oxide (denoted as SnO2/rGO) composite is successfully designed onto the commercial polypropylene separator for use of interlayer of LSBs to decrease the charge-transfer resistance and trap the soluble lithium polysulfides (LPSs). As a result, the assembled devices using the separator modified with the functional interlayer (SnO2/rGO) exhibit improved cycle performance; for instance, over 200 cycles at 1C, the discharge capacity of the cells reaches 734 mAh g–1. The cells also display high rate capability, with the average discharge capacity of 541.9 mAh g–1 at 5C. Additionally, the mechanism of anchoring behavior of the SnO2/rGO interlayer was systematically investigated using density functional theory calculations. The results demonstrate that the improved performance is related to the ability of SnO2/rGO to effectively absorb S8 cluster and LPS. The strong Li–O/Sn–S/O–S bonds and tight chemical adsorption between LPS and SnO2 mitigate the shuttle effect of LSBs. This study demonstrates that engineering the functional interlayer of metal oxide and carbon materials in LSBs may be an easy way to improve their rate capacity and cycling life.