3-D vertically aligned few layer graphene – partially reduced graphene oxide/sulfur electrodes for high performance lithium–sulfur batteries

D. P. Singh (Corresponding Author), N. Soin, S. Sharma, S. Basak, S. Sachdeva, S. S. Roy, H. W. Zanderbergen, J. A. McLaughlin, M. Huijben, M. Wagemaker

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Abstract

3-D vertically aligned few-layered graphene (FLGs) nanoflakes synthesised using microwave plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition are melt-impregnated with partially reduced graphene oxide-sulfur (PrGO-S) nanocomposites for use in lithium–sulfur batteries. The aligned structure and the presence of interconnected micro voids/channels in the 3-D FLG/PrGO-S electrodes serves as template not only for the high sulfur loading (up to 80 wt%, areal loading of 1.2 mg cm−2) but also compensates for the volume changes occurring during charge–discharge cycles. The inter-connectivity of the electrode system further facilitates fast electronic and ionic transport pathways. Consequently, the binder-free 3-D FLG/PrGO-S electrodes display a high first-cycle capacity (1320 mA h g−1 at C/20), along with excellent rate capability of ∼830 mA h g−1 and 700 mA h g−1 at 2C and 5C rates, respectively. The residual functional groups of PrGO (–OH, –C–O–C– and –COOH) facilitate fast and reversible capture of Li+ ions while confining the polysulfide shuttles, thus, contributing to excellent cycling capability and retention capacity. The 3D electrodes demonstrate excellent capacity retention of ∼80% (1040 mA h g−1 at C/10) over 350 charge–discharge cycles. Comparatively, the 2-D planar PrGO-S electrodes displayed poor electronic conductivity and can only provide 560 mA h g−1 after 150 cycles, thereby further highlighting the vital role of the electrode morphology in improving the electrochemical performance of Li–S batteries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1516-1523
Number of pages11
JournalSustainable Energy & Fuels
Volume1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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