PI: Mahendra Sunkara, University of Louisville.
The current state of the art Li-S batteries are exemplified by: poor electrode rechargeability and low rate capability owing to the insulating nature of sulfur and the solid reduction products (Li2S and Li2S2); fast capacity fading results with the generation of various soluble polysulfides Li2Sn (3 ≤ n ≤6) intermediates, which give rise to shuttle mechanism; and a poorly controlled Li/electrolyte interface. The use of lithium metal as anode is problematic due to potential for dendrite formation. Our approach is centered on using a new pre-lithiated anode material based on MoO3 which operates through alloying-dealloying reactions. On the cathode side, we will introduce meso-porous, high surface area carbon supported oxide coatings to prevent poly-sulfide shuttling. In terms of electrolytes, we will introduce commercially available appropriate additives to facilitate the mitigation of the polysulfide shuttle. In the long-term, we plan to completely eliminate the polysulfide shuttling between the electrodes by using all-solid Li-S battery configuration with added benefits to limit the detrimental effects such as dendritic growth of lithium, SEI formation, and self-discharge etc.