Research Article


2018, 11(9): 4562–4573


Dual confinement of polysulfides in boron-doped porous carbon sphere/graphene hybrid for advanced Li-S batteries

Wei Ai1,2,§, Jiewei Li1,§, Zhuzhu Du1, Chenji Zou2, Hongfang Du2,4, Xin Xu2, Yu Chen2, Hongbo Zhang2, Jianfeng Zhao1, Changming Li4, Wei Huang1,3 (*), and Ting Yu2 (*)

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1 Key Laboratory of Flexible Electronics (KLOFE) & Institute of Advanced Materials (IAM), Jiangsu National Synergetic Innovation Center for Advanced Materials (SICAM), Nanjing Tech University (NanjingTech), 30 South Puzhu Road, Nanjing 211816, China
2 Division of Physics and Applied Physics, School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 637371, Singapore
3 Shaanxi Institute of Flexible Electronics (SIFE), Northwestern Polytechnical University (NPU), 127 West Youyi Road, Xi’an 710072, China
4 Institute for Clean Energy & Advanced Materials, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China
§ Wei Ai and Jiewei Li contributed equally to this work.

Keywords: potato starch, carbon spheres, graphene, boron doping, Li-S batteries
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ABSTRACT A hybrid structure consisting of boron-doped porous carbon spheres and graphene (BPCS-G) has been designed and synthesized toward solving the polysulfideshuttle problem, which is the most critical issue of current Li-S batteries. The proposed hybrid structure showing high surface area (870 m2·g−1) and high B-dopant content (6.51 wt.%) simultaneously offers both physical confinement and chemical absorption of polysulfides. On one hand, the abundant-pore structure ensures high sulfur loading, facilitates fast charge transfer, and restrains polysulfide migration during cycling. On the other hand, our density functional theory calculations demonstrate that the B dopant is capable of chemically binding polysulfides. As a consequence of such dual polysulfide confinement, the BPCS-G/S cathode prepared with 70 wt.% sulfur loading presents a high reversible capacity of 1,174 mAh·g−1 at 0.02 C, a high rate capacity of 396 mAh·g−1 at 5 C, and good cyclability over 500 cycles with only 0.05% capacity decay per cycle. The present work provides an efficient and cost-effective platform for the scalable synthesis of high-performance carbon-based materials for advanced Li-S batteries.
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Dual confinement of polysulfides in boron-doped porous carbon sphere/graphene hybrid for advanced Li-S batteries. Nano Res. 2018, 11(9): 4562–4573

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