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Nano Research

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 1238–1246 | Cite as

Hollow carbon nanofibers with dynamic adjustable pore sizes and closed ends as hosts for high-rate lithium-sulfur battery cathodes

  • Xiang-Qian Zhang
  • Bin He
  • Wen-Cui Li
  • An-Hui LuEmail author
Research Article

Abstract

Designing a better carbon framework is critical for harnessing the high theoretical capacity of Li-S batteries and avoiding their drawbacks, such as the insulating nature of sulfur, active material loss, and the polysulfide shuttle reaction. Here, we report an ingenious design of hollow carbon nanofibers with closed ends and protogenetic mesopores in the shell that can be retracted to micropores after sulfur infusion. Such dynamic adjustable pore sizes ensure a high sulfur loading, and more importantly, eliminate excessive contact of sulfur species with the electrolyte. Together, the high aspect ratio and thin carbon shells of the carbon nanofibers facilitate rapid transport of Li+ ions and electrons, and the closed-end structure of the carbon nanofibers further blocks polysulfide dissolution from both ends, which is remarkably different from that for carbon nanotubes with open ends. The obtained sulfur-carbon cathodes exhibit excellent performance marked by high sulfur utilization, superior rate capability (1,170, 1,050, and 860 mA·h·g−1 at 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0 C (1 C = 1.675 A·g−1), respectively), and a stable reversible capacity of 847 mA·h·g−1 after 300 cycles at a high rate of 2.0 C.

Keywords

hollow carbon nanofibers pore-adjusting strategy sulfur cathodes rate capability energy materials 

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Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (No. 2013CB934104), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 21225312 and 21376047), and Cheung Kong Scholars Program of China (No. T2015036).

Supplementary material

12274_2017_1737_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.6 mb)
Hollow carbon nanofibers with dynamic adjustable pore sizes and closed ends as hosts for high-rate lithium-sulfur battery cathodes

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Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiang-Qian Zhang
    • 1
  • Bin He
    • 1
  • Wen-Cui Li
    • 1
  • An-Hui Lu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Fine Chemicals, School of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Chemical, Environmental and Biological Science and TechnologyDalian University of TechnologyDalianChina

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