Strategies for the viability of rechargeable lithium-sulfur batteries

A. Manthiram, S. H. Chung, C. H. Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries are considered as one of the most promising next-generation rechargeable batteries for electrical energy storage because of their high theoretical specific energy of ~ 2500 Wh kg-1, low production cost, and high abundance of sulfur. However, the high charge-storage capacity of sulfur cannot be effectively utilized due to the insulating nature of the active material and the easy migration of polysulfide intermediates from the cathode to the anode. In this research article, we describe a concise summary of two successful methods for solving the scientific problems and improving the Li-S cell performances. Design/methodology/approach: Successful strategies in addressing the scientific and engineering issues of Li-S cells can be divided into two major categories: (i) sulfur-based nanocomposites that improve the Li-S cell performance based on the cathode active material and (ii) cell configuration modifications that enhance the Li-S cell performance by adopting the materials nature of sulfur. Findings: Current technologies including nanocomposite development and cell configuration design have greatly ameliorated the overall electrochemical performance of Li-S batteries by improving the electrochemical utilization of sulfur and the retention rate of polysulfides. Research limitations/implications: The overcome the challenges of Li-S batteries, a fair balance has to be taken between (i) sulfur loading/content and cell performances, (ii) amount of active material and porosity of the matrix, and (iii) added weight from the modified cell components and energy density of the custom Li-S cells. Practical implications: The next step for the reality of commercial Li-S batteries might be (i) development of high-loading sulfur cathodes, (ii) anode configuration modification, and (iii) design of electrochemically stable electrolytes. Originality/value: A concise introduction of the development of the sulfur core in Li-S cells is provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-81
Number of pages12
JournalArchives of Materials Science and Engineering
Volume75
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Oct 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)

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