Lithium-Sulfur Batteries Power Up With Titanium Nitride

By creating a conductive and robust host for sulfur, researchers in South Korea have found a way to improve the performance of lithium-sulfur batteries.

AsianScientist (Feb. 12, 2019) – A team of scientists in South Korea have developed stable and efficient lithium-sulfur batteries (LSBs) using hierarchical porous titanium nitride as a host material for sulfur. Their findings are published in the journal Advanced Materials.

Although lithium ion batteries are widely used in consumer electronic devices, their capacity and stability are insufficient for higher power applications such as electric cars and power grids.

Theoretically, lithium sulfur batteries (LSBs) have an energy density seven times higher than commercial LIBs. Also, the production cost of LSBs could be lower since sulfur can be obtained relatively cheaply. However, the low electric conductivity of sulfur, the dissolution of active materials during operation and sluggish conversion reactions limit the cycle stability and efficiency of batteries.

To tackle these issues, Professor Lee Jinwoo and his team at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology synthesized hierarchical porous titanium nitride as a host material for sulfur. Titanium nitride has a high chemical affinity for sulfur and is highly conductive. Moreover, the synergistic effect of macropore and mesopore structures allows the stable accommodation of large amounts of sulfur, thereby facilitating electrolyte penetration and transportation of lithium ions.

In experiments, the hierarchically porous titanium nitride demonstrated a reversible capacity of 557 mA h g-1 even after 1,000 cycles, with only 0.016 percent decay in capacity per cycle. The researchers suggest that their findings could pave the way for longer-lasting LSBs which can be used to power the next generation of green devices.

The article can be found at: Lim et al. (2019) Lithium–Sulfur Batteries: Approaching Ultrastable High‐Rate Li–S Batteries through Hierarchically Porous Titanium Nitride Synthesized by Multiscale Phase Separation.


Source: Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology; Photo: Advanced Materials.
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