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Nanoscale. 2014 Jun 7;6(11):5746-53. doi: 10.1039/c4nr00326h. Epub 2014 Mar 21.

Binder free three-dimensional sulphur/few-layer graphene foam cathode with enhanced high-rate capability for rechargeable lithium sulphur batteries.

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  • 1Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 3QZ, UK.


A novel ultra-lightweight three-dimensional (3-D) cathode system for lithium sulphur (Li-S) batteries has been synthesised by loading sulphur on to an interconnected 3-D network of few-layered graphene (FLG) via a sulphur solution infiltration method. A free-standing FLG monolithic network foam was formed as a negative of a Ni metallic foam template by CVD followed by etching away of Ni. The FLG foam offers excellent electrical conductivity, an appropriate hierarchical pore structure for containing the electro-active sulphur and facilitates rapid electron/ion transport. This cathode system does not require any additional binding agents, conductive additives or a separate metallic current collector thus decreasing the weight of the cathode by typically ∼20-30 wt%. A Li-S battery with the sulphur-FLG foam cathode shows good electrochemical stability and high rate discharge capacity retention for up to 400 discharge/charge cycles at a high current density of 3200 mA g(-1). Even after 400 cycles the capacity decay is only ∼0.064% per cycle relative to the early (e.g. the 5th cycle) discharge capacity, while yielding an average columbic efficiency of ∼96.2%. Our results indicate the potential suitability of graphene foam for efficient, ultra-light and high-performance batteries.

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