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Preparation of a macroscopic, robust carbon-fiber monolith from filamentous fungi and its application in Li–S batteries

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      A highly ordered nanostructured carbon-sulphur cathode for lithium-sulphur batteries.

      The Li-S battery has been under intense scrutiny for over two decades, as it offers the possibility of high gravimetric capacities and theoretical energy densities ranging up to a factor of five beyond conventional Li-ion systems. Herein, we report the feasibility to approach such capacities by creating highly ordered interwoven composites. The conductive mesoporous carbon framework precisely constrains sulphur nanofiller growth within its channels and generates essential electrical contact to the insulating sulphur. The structure provides access to Li+ ingress/egress for reactivity with the sulphur, and we speculate that the kinetic inhibition to diffusion within the framework and the sorption properties of the carbon aid in trapping the polysulphides formed during redox. Polymer modification of the carbon surface further provides a chemical gradient that retards diffusion of these large anions out of the electrode, thus facilitating more complete reaction. Reversible capacities up to 1,320 mA h g(-1) are attained. The assembly process is simple and broadly applicable, conceptually providing new opportunities for materials scientists for tailored design that can be extended to many different electrode materials.
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        Porous hollow carbon@sulfur composites for high-power lithium-sulfur batteries.

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          Lithium-sulphur batteries with a microporous carbon paper as a bifunctional interlayer.

          The limitations in the cathode capacity compared with that of the anode have been an impediment to advance the lithium-ion battery technology. The lithium-sulphur system is appealing in this regard, as sulphur exhibits an order of magnitude higher capacity than the currently used cathodes. However, low active material utilization and poor cycle life hinder the practicality of lithium-sulphur batteries. Here we report a simple adjustment to the traditional lithium-sulphur battery configuration to achieve high capacity with a long cycle life and rapid charge rate. With a bifunctional microporous carbon paper between the cathode and separator, we observe a significant improvement not only in the active material utilization but also in capacity retention, without involving complex synthesis or surface modification. The insertion of a microporous carbon interlayer decreases the internal charge transfer resistance and localizes the soluble polysulphide species, facilitating a commercially feasible means of fabricating the lithium-sulphur batteries.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            GRCHFJ
            Green Chemistry
            Green Chem.
            Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
            1463-9262
            1463-9270
            2014
            June 2014
            : 16
            : 8
            : 3926
            10.1039/C4GC00761A
            © 2014
            Product
            Self URI (article page): http://xlink.rsc.org/?DOI=C4GC00761A

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