Long-Life Lithium Sulfur Batteries

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Researchers used optimized materials for developing long-life lithium sulfur batteries.

Rechargeable batteries are everywhere. Researchers across the globe are trying to find an optimized candidate for recharge battery that can outperform lithium ion batteries in terms of energy density and safety. Lithium sulfur batteries are promising candidates for energy storage. The main thing that is limiting the commercialization of these batteries is that the intermediate product is susceptible to dissolving.

During the construction of the battery, Sulphur reacts with lithium to form lithium polysulfide, which can easily dissolve into polysulfides. The polysulfides impairs the performance of the battery, resulting in its lifespan being greatly reduced. To optimize the batteries, the lithium polysulfide needs to transform to the final product, either Li2S2 or Li2S, as quickly as possible.

Researchers at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University used two different materials—TiO2, which absorbs the unwanted polysulfides, and TiN, which accelerates the process. “Using these two materials, we developed a hybrid that is low cost and easy to apply,” said Dr. Luis Ono, second author of this study. “We found that it had an excellent ability to improve the battery performance.”

The researchers found that 10nm of TiN and 5nm of TiO2 created the most efficient product. They ran the battery for 200 cycles and found that its efficiency was almost the same.

“We will continue to further optimize the materials to improve the performance,” said Professor Yabing Qi, senior author of the study and head of the Energy Materials and Surface Sciences Unit at OIST. “There are a lot of brilliant minds working on lithium sulfur batteries and it’s a really promising and exciting technology.”

Their work appeared in the journal Nature Communications.


 

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