Spatiotemporal Quantification of Lithium both in Electrode and in Electrolyte with Atomic Precision via Operando Neutron Absorption

Peter Paul R.M.L. Harks, Tomas W. Verhallen, Chandramohan George, Jan Karel van den Biesen, Qian Liu, Marnix Wagemaker, Fokko M. Mulder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
60 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The commercial uptake of lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries is undermined by their rapid performance decay and short cycle life. These problems originate from the dissolution of lithium polysulfide in liquid electrolytes, causing charge and active material to shuttle between electrodes. The dynamics of intractable polysulfide migration at different length scales often tend to escape the probing ability of many analytical techniques. Spatial and temporal visualization of Li in Li-S electrodes and direct mechanistic understanding of how polysulfides are regulated across Li-S batteries starting from current collector and active layer coating to electrode-electrolyte interface are still lacking. To address this we employ neutron depth profiling across Li-S electrodes using the naturally occurring isotope, 6Li, which yields direct spatial information on Li-S electrochemistry. Using three types of Li-S electrodes, namely, carbon-sulfur, carbon-sulfur with 10% lithium titanium oxide (LTO), and carbon-sulfur with LTO membrane, we provide direct evidence for the migration, adsorption, and confinement of polysulfides in Li-S cells at work. Our findings further provide insights into the dynamics of polysulfide dissolution and re-utilization in relation to Li-S battery capacity and longevity to aid rational electrode designs toward high-energy, safe, and low-cost batteries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14280-14287
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Volume141
Issue number36
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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