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Nano Research

Article Title

High areal capacity flexible sulfur cathode based on multi-functionalized super-aligned carbon nanotubes

Authors

Lujie Jia, State Key Laboratory of Low-Dimensional Quantum Physics and Department of Physics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Jian Wang, i-Lab, Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Suzhou 215123, China
Zijin Chen, Laboratory for Computational Materials Engineering Division of Energy and Environment, Graduate School at Shenzhen, Tsinghua University, Shenzhen 518055, China
Yipeng Su, State Key Laboratory of Low-Dimensional Quantum Physics and Department of Physics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Wei Zhao, State Key Laboratory of Low-Dimensional Quantum Physics and Department of Physics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Datao Wang, State Key Laboratory of Low-Dimensional Quantum Physics and Department of Physics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Yang Wei, State Key Laboratory of Low-Dimensional Quantum Physics and Department of Physics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Kaili Jiang, State Key Laboratory of Low-Dimensional Quantum Physics and Department of Physics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Jiaping Wang, State Key Laboratory of Low-Dimensional Quantum Physics and Department of Physics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Yang Wu, State Key Laboratory of Low-Dimensional Quantum Physics and Department of Physics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Jia Li, Laboratory for Computational Materials Engineering Division of Energy and Environment, Graduate School at Shenzhen, Tsinghua University, Shenzhen 518055, China
Wenhui Duan, State Key Laboratory of Low-Dimensional Quantum Physics and Department of Physics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Shoushan Fan, State Key Laboratory of Low-Dimensional Quantum Physics and Department of Physics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Yuegang Zhang, State Key Laboratory of Low-Dimensional Quantum Physics and Department of Physics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China i-Lab, Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Suzhou 215123, China

Keywords

lithium/sulfur battery, flexible electrode, multi-functional carbon glue, high areal capacity

Abstract

Rational design of a robust carbon matrix has a profound impact on the performance of flexible/wearable lithium/sulfur batteries. Herein, we demonstrate a freestanding three-dimensional super-aligned carbon nanotube (SACNT) matrix reinforced with a multi-functionalized carbon coating for flexible, high-areal sulfur loading cathode. By employing the sulfur/nitrogen co-doped carbon (SNC) “glue”, the joints in the SACNT scaffold are tightly welded together so that the overall mechanical strength of the electrode is significantly enhanced to withstand the repeated bending as well as the volume change during operation. The SNC also shows intriguing catalytic effect that lowers the energy barrier of Li ion transport, propelling a superior redox conversion efficiency. The resulting binder-free and current collector-free sulfur cathode exhibits a high reversible capacity of 1,079 mAh·g−1 at 1 C, a high-rate capacity of ~ 800 mAh·g−1 at 5 C, and an average capacity decay rate of 0.037% per cycle at 2 C for 1,500 cycles. Impressively, a large-areal flexible Li/S pouch cell based on such mechanically robust cathode exhibits excellent capacity retention under arbitrary bending conditions. With a high areal sulfur loading of 7 mg·cm−2, the large-areal flexible cathode delivers an outstanding areal capacity of 6.3 mAh·cm−2 at 0.5 C (5.86 mA·cm−2), showing its promise for realizing practical high energy density flexible Li/S batteries.

Graphical Abstract

Publisher

Tsinghua University Press

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