High-capacity Lithium/Dissolved Polysulfide Cells

Physical Sciences : Materials and Compounds

Available for licensing

Inventors

  • Arumugam Manthiram, Ph.D. , Mechanical Engineering
  • Yongzhu Fu , Texas Materials Institute

Background/unmet need

Rechargeable lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries currently use sulfur composite cathodes. Compared to other transition metal oxide cathode materials used in lithium-ion batteries, sulfur cathodes provide ten times higher theoretical capacity, enabling Li-S batteries to provide higher energy density than current lithium-ion batteries. However, there are many challenges impeding the commercialization of Li-S batteries, such as low electrical conductivity, low utilization of active material within electrodes, low efficiency, and poor cyclability. To overcome these difficulties, there has been extensive investigation on sulfur-carbon and sulfur-conductive polymer composite cathodes. However, these materials suffer from poor cycle life, low utilization of active material, and high cost, and require an energy-intensive synthesis process.

Invention Description

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have designed a lithium-dissolved polysulfide battery utilizing polysulfide-containing catholyte and a binder-free, free-standing carbon electrode. Such a battery offers a capacity which is more than double that of conventional sulfur cathodes, high cyclability, and high efficiency (>95%). The preparation method is also low-cost, easily scalable, low-energy consumption, and environmentally benign.

Benefits/Advantages

  • High specific capacity
  • Better cyclability
  • High efficiency

Features

  • Lithium/dissolved polysulfide rechargeable battery
  • Advancement of Li-S technology in terms of efficiency and capacity

Market potential/applications

Rechargeable, portable batteries; electrochemical energy storage systems for large-scale grid energy storage; flow battery systems; vehicle batteries

Development Stage

Lab/bench prototype

IP Status