Electrode Separation in Lithium-Sulfur Batteries

Electrode Separation in Lithium-Sulfur Batteries

Author: Katherine Lawrence

Rechargeable batteries play an important role in bridging the gap between old disruptive technologies and new alternative technologies for efficient energy conversion. However, the low storage capacity of batteries remains a problem. The energy-density limitations of lithium-ion batteries triggered the evolution of new systems, including lithium-sulfur batteries, which have a superior energy density. Although many studies have focused on improving lithium-sulfur batteries, little attention has been devoted to the optimization of the electrode separator.

Robert Dominko, National Institute of Chemistry, Slovenia, and his co-workers demonstrate that a thin layer of chemically modified reduced graphene oxide (rGO) can be used as an interlayer between the lithium anode and the sulfur cathode in lithium-sulfur batteries. The use of hydrophobic rGO as a separator improves the capacity retention of the lithium-sulfur battery, as it effectively reduces the reactivity of long-chain polysulfides with the metallic lithium, leading to more homogeneous precipitation of the end-discharge products during continuous cycling.

Effective separation of the sulfur cathode and lithium anode leads to stable lithium-sulfur battery cycling with very high coulombic efficiency. This helps towards the development of new and effective technologies to eliminate the use of fossil fuels and outdated technologies.

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