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Understanding the Charging Mechanism of Lithium-Sulfur Batteries Using Spatially Resolved Operando X-Ray Absorption Spectroscopy

DOI: 10.1149/2.0631606jes DOI Help

Authors: Yelena Gorlin (TU Munich) , Manu Patel Ubrani Mruthunjayappa (Technische Universit√§t M√ľnchen) , Anna Freiberg (TU Munich) , Qi He (TU Munich) , Michele Piana (TU Munich) , Moniek Tromp (University of Amsterdam) , Hubert A. Gasteiger (TU Munich)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Journal Of The Electrochemical Society , VOL 163 , PAGES A930 - A939

State: Published (Approved)
Published: March 2016
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 8734

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: Replacement of conventional cars with battery electric vehicles (BEVs) offers an opportunity to significantly reduce future carbon dioxide emissions. One possible way to facilitate widespread acceptance of BEVs is to replace the lithium-ion batteries used in existing BEVs with a lithium-sulfur battery, which operates using a cheap and abundant raw material with a high specific energy density. These significant theoretical advantages of lithium-sulfur batteries over the lithium-ion technology have generated a lot of interest in the system, but the development of practical prototypes, which could be successfully incorporated into BEVs, remains slow. To accelerate the development of improved lithium-sulfur batteries, our work focuses on the mechanistic understanding of the processes occurring inside the battery. In particular, we study the mechanism of the charging process and obtain spatially resolved information about both solution and solid phase intermediates in two locations of an operating Li2S-Li battery: the cathode and the separator. These measurements were made possible through the combination of a spectro-electrochemical cell developed in our laboratory and synchrotron based operando X-ray absorption spectroscopy measurements. Using the generated data, we identify a charging mechanism in a standard DOL-DME based electrolyte, which is consistent with both the first and subsequent charging processes.

Journal Keywords: lithium-sulfur battery operando characterization spatial resolution X-ray absorption spectroscopy

Subject Areas: Energy, Chemistry, Materials

Instruments: I18-Microfocus Spectroscopy

Other Facilities: SSRL

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