High-Capacity Rechargeable Lithium-Sulfur Batteries with a Conductive/Porous Insertion Layer and Methods of Making the Same

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

The theoretical energy density of sulfur cathodes is relatively large compared to oxide or phosphate cathodes; however, realizing their full capacity is difficult due to the poor active material utilization of Li-S batteries, which results from sulfur’s low conductivity. Moreover, the intermediate polysulfides that form during discharge/charge processes are easily soluble in electrolytes. The higher-order polysulfide ions shuttle in electrolytes between the anode and cathode, which drastically decreases the couloumbic efficiency of the Li-S batteries.

Many approaches have been taken to tackle the drawbacks of sulfur cathodes. Preliminary research results have shown promising prospects of Li-S battery systems; however, the cathode material processing steps were elaborate and complicated, limiting the practicality and profitability of manufacturing a viable lithium-sulfur cell.

Invention Description

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a facile method of inserting a bi-functional conductive and porous layer between the sulfur cathode and the separator, which can enhance both the specific capacity and cyclability of Li-S batteries. This original design is facile and feasible to fabricate Li-S batteries with high capacity.

Benefits/Advantages

    Higher capacity and cyclability than Li-S battery without any insertion layers

Features

  • Facile
  • Scalable
  • Low-cost processing

Market potential/applications

 Cell configuration and design for rechargeable lithium-sulfur batteries

Development Stage

Lab/bench prototype

IP Status