Journal of Solid State Electrochemistry

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 419–431 | Cite as

Pyrite-based mixtures as composite electrodes for lithium-sulfur batteries

  • I. Belenkaya
  • S. Menkin
  • H. Mazor
  • T. Mukra
  • L. Burstein
  • Yu. Rosenberg
  • A. Gladkich
  • D. GolodnitskyEmail author
Original Paper


Pyrite-based composite materials (Li/S) were prepared by high-energy ball milling of FeS2 with one or more metal sulfides, Li2S, Cu2S, and CuS, in various molar ratios and under different conditions. Prolonged grinding resulted in the formation of mixed compounds rather than single-phase lithiated chalcopyrite. The composite materials were primarily investigated via XPS, XRD, and TOF-SIMS characterization methods, and performance of the materials as composite cathodes was evaluated via analysis of dQ/dV curves. Evidence of main active phases in the materials was found, including, Cu-doped FeS2 (pyrite) and/or nonstoichiometric chalcopyrite (CuxFeyS2 − z). TOF-SIMS measurements exhibited further evidence of formation of partially lithiated pyrite mixtures. Lithium cells comprising mixed pyrite cathodes demonstrate superior electrochemical performance, namely, 98–100% coulombic efficiency and 300–320 mAh g−1 (per gram of active material) after 150 cycles over a voltage range of 1.2–2.8 V at 0.1 C-rate, whereas pristine FeS2/Li cells exhibit only 220 mAh g−1 at similar operating conditions. Lowering of cut-off discharge voltage from 1.2 to 1.0 V of the FeS2/Li cells with FeS2-rich mixed cathodes is accompanied by about 15% capacity enhancement (350–450 mAh g−1 after 200 cycles). The cells with mixed pyrite composite cathodes exhibit an increase in maximum pulse power capability from 5 to 15 W/g and C-rate from 0.3 to 2.5, which points towards higher electrical conductivity of the active material as compared to the pristine pyrite.


Pyrite-based mixed cathodes Cycle life Lithium-sulfur batteries 



This research is supported by the Israel Ministry of Science and Technology (grant 2671) and the Israel National Research Center for Electrochemical Propulsion.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ChemistryTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Physical Electronics, Faculty of EngineeringTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  3. 3.Wolfson Applied Materials Research CenterTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael

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