The lithium-sulphur battery relies on the reversible conversion between sulphur and Li2S and is highly appealing for energy storage owing to its low cost and high energy density. Porous carbons are typically used as sulfur hosts, but they do not adsorb the hydrophilic polysulphide intermediates or adhere well to Li2S, resulting in pronounced capacity fading. Here we report a different strategy based on an inherently polar, high surface area metallic oxide cathode host and show that it mitigates polysulphide dissolution by forming an excellent interface with Li2S. Complementary physical and electrochemical probes demonstrate strong polysulphide/Li2S binding with this 'sulphiphilic' host and provide experimental evidence for surface-mediated redox chemistry. In a lithium-sulphur cell, Ti 4O7/S cathodes provide a discharge capacity of 1,070mAhg-1 at intermediate rates and a doubling in capacity retention with respect to a typical conductive carbon electrode, at practical sulphur mass fractions up to 70wt%. Stable cycling performance is demonstrated at high rates over 500 cycles.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)