Porous carbon spheres as a functional conducting framework for use in lithium-sulfur batteries

Min Sik Park, Ji Sang Yu, Ki Jae Kim, Goojin Jeong, Jae Hun Kim, Taeeun Yim, Yong Nam Jo, Uk Hwang, Shin Kang, Taewoo Woo, Hansu Kim, Young Jun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

Porous carbon spheres with hybrid pore structure have been designed as a promising conducting framework to be used in cathode material for lithium-sulfur batteries. By creating three-dimensionally interconnected micropores and mesopores, sufficient space for sulfur storage, as well as electrolyte pathways, can be secured in the carbon spheres. Sulfur is mainly confined in mesopores with diameters of a few tens of nanometers in the carbon spheres and separated on the mesoscopic domain, which is advantageous for enhancing charge transfer and effectively accommodating volume expansion of sulfur during electrochemical reactions with Li+. The important role of the micropores, with diameters of less than 2 nm, is to extend effective interfacial contact between the sulfur and electrolyte, leading to enhancement of Li+ mobility. The sulfur-porous carbon sphere composite exhibits excellent cyclic performance and rate capability without significant capacity degradation caused by the loss of soluble Li polysulfides or electrical isolation of the active sulfur in the cathode. Importantly, the shape of the porous carbon spheres is advantageous for building robust electrodes with high-energy density. Our observations, based on various structural and electrochemical analyses, will be helpful for understanding and consolidating the fundamental aspects of the electrochemistry of sulfur. Furthermore, our approach is expected to be helpful in designing and tailoring advanced cathode materials with improved performance for lithium-sulfur batteries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11774-11781
Number of pages8
JournalRSC Advances
Volume3
Issue number29
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013 Aug 7

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    Park, M. S., Yu, J. S., Kim, K. J., Jeong, G., Kim, J. H., Yim, T., Jo, Y. N., Hwang, U., Kang, S., Woo, T., Kim, H., & Kim, Y. J. (2013). Porous carbon spheres as a functional conducting framework for use in lithium-sulfur batteries. RSC Advances, 3(29), 11774-11781. https://doi.org/10.1039/c3ra41061g