A team led by Professor Cheong Ying Chan, Professor of Engineering and Environment, Professor ZHAO Tianshou, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Director of the HKUST Energy Research Institute has proposed a new cathode design concept for lithium-sulfur (Li–S) batteries. Improves the performance of this kind of promising next-generation battery.
Li–S batteries are considered an attractive alternative to lithium-ion batteries commonly used in smartphones, electric vehicles and drones. Although they are known for their high energy density, their main component, sulfur, is rich, light, inexpensive and environmentally friendly.
Li–S batteries have the potential to provide energy densities in excess of 500 Wh / kg, significantly superior to lithium-ion batteries, which reach their limits at 300 Wh / kg. The high energy density means that the mileage of an electric vehicle equipped with a lithium-ion battery can be significantly extended to 600 to 800 km with a lithium-ion battery.
Although exciting results on Li–S batteries have been achieved by researchers around the world, there is still a large gap between laboratory research and the commercialization of technology on an industrial scale. One of the key issues is the polysulfide shuttle effect of Li-S batteries, which causes progressive leakage of active material from the cathode and lithium corrosion, shortening the battery life cycle. Other challenges include reducing the amount of electrolyte in the battery while maintaining stable battery performance.
To address these issues, Professor Zhao’s team worked with international researchers to propose a cathode design concept that could achieve excellent Li–S battery performance.
The highly oriented macroporous host can uniformly contain sulfur, and abundant active sites are embedded within the host to absorb polysulfide tightly, eliminating the shuttle effect and lithium metal corrosion. By advocating the design principles of sulfur cathodes for Li–S batteries, the joint team has taken a major step towards increasing the energy density of batteries and industrializing them.
“We are still in the middle of basic research in this area,” said Professor Zhao. “But our new electrode design concept and the resulting breakthroughs in performance represent a major step towards the practical application of next-generation batteries that are even more powerful and long-lasting than today’s lithium-ion batteries.”
Their research results are recent Nature nanotechnology..
Reference: Chen Zhao, Gui-Liang Xu, Zhou Yu, Leicheng Zhang, Inhui Hwang, Yu-Xue Mo, “High Energy, Long Cycle Lithium Sulfur Pouch Cell via Macroporous Cathode with End-to-End Coupling Site”, Yuxun Ren, Lei Cheng, Cheng-Jun Sun, Yang Ren, Xiaobing Zuo, Jun-Tao Li, Shi-Gang Sun, Khalil Amine, Tianshou Zhao, December 3, 2020, Nature nanotechnology..
DOI: 10.1038 / s41565-020-00829-5
HKUST team members include Professor Zhao and current PhD students ZHAO Chen and ZHANG Leicheng, and former PhD student REN Yuxun (graduated in 2019). Other collaborators include researchers from Argonne National Laboratory and Stanford University in the United States, Xiamen University in mainland China, and Imam Abdullah Manbin Faisal University in Saudi Arabia.
New Cathode Design Significantly Improves Performance of Next-Generation Battery Source link New Cathode Design Significantly Improves Performance of Next-Generation Battery