The development of lithium-sulfur batteries faces three challenges

Recently, Professor Zhan Liang’s team from the School of Chemical Engineering of East China University of Science and Technology published a paper in Advanced Materials entitled “Research Progress of Synergistic Inhibition of Lithium Polysulfide Shuttle Effect and Lithium Dendrite Growth Strategy in the Field of Lithium-sulfur Batteries”, which reviewed and analyzed the positive/negative “host” materials, diaphragm coating modified functional materials and electrolyte additives of lithium-sulfur batteries in the past decade.

Strategies to suppress the “shuttle effect” of lithium polysulfide. Photo courtesy of the research team

Lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries have the advantages of ultra-high theoretical energy density and environmental friendliness, and are considered to be one of the most promising next-generation battery devices. At present, there are three main problems in the development of lithium-sulfur batteries: first, the conductivity of the sulfur cathode is low, and a certain volume expansion occurs during the charging and discharging process, resulting in electrode structural damage; Second, the discharge intermediate product polysulfide is easily soluble in ether electrolyte, and a “shuttle effect” occurs between the positive and negative electrodes, resulting in a low utilization rate of active substances and a decrease in cycle stability; The third is the growth of lithium anode dendrite lithium. In this regard, this paper reviews the research on positive/negative “host” materials, separator coating modified functional materials and electrolyte additives of lithium-sulfur batteries in the past decade.

The research on inhibiting the “shuttle effect” of lithium polysulfide and the growth strategy of dendrite lithium is summarized, mainly including Li-S full battery using “two-in-one” sulfur cathode and lithium anode host materials, separator coating materials with “killing two birds with one stone”, and electrolyte additives that can stabilize sulfur and inhibit the growth of dendrite lithium, and emphasize the advanced characterization technology for the evolution behavior of lithium polysulfide, and finally analyze the development prospects, research directions and challenges of lithium-sulfur batteries. (Source: China Science News, Zhang Shuanghu, Li Chenyang)

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