A Binder-Free Sulfur-Carbon Nanotube Composite Cathode for Rechargeable Lithium-Sulfur Batteries

Physical Sciences : Materials and Compounds

Available for licensing

Inventors

  • Arumugam Manthiram, Ph.D. , Mechanical Engineering
  • Yu-Sheng Su , University of Texas at Austin

Background/unmet need

 Lithium-ion batteries play a critical role in our daily lives. However, there is immense interest in increasing the energy density of Li-ion batteries. Developing a new cathode material with high gravimetric density for Li-ion batteries is a target of energy storage.

Elemental sulfur is a potential cathode material for lithium batteries due to its high theoretical capacity. Nevertheless, poor active material utilization due to the high electrical resistivity of sulfur and the dissolution in the electrolyte of the intermediate sulfur-reduced products are two of the most important factors leading to poor electrochemical performance of Li-S batteries. To make Li- S batteries applicable to electric vehicles and stationary grid storage, high rate capability is absolutely required.

Invention Description

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a binder-free sulfur-carbon nano-tube (CNT) composite material as a cathode for Li- S battery via an in-situ sulfur deposition synthesis. The new material makes the electrode processing non-toxic and environmentally friendly because it eliminates the need for the slurry casting process for manufacturing electrodes which involves use of the poisonous solvent n-methylpirrolidine (NMP) to dissolve a polyvinylidene fluoride binder.

Benefits/Advantages

  • High current density during battery cycling
  • High rate performance

Features

    The synthesis method is highly energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, facile, easily scalable, and low in cost.

Market potential/applications

Cathode fabrication for lithium-sulfur batteries

Development Stage

Lab/bench prototype