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Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2019 Mar 18;58(12):3779-3783. doi: 10.1002/anie.201812062. Epub 2019 Jan 16.

Activating Inert Metallic Compounds for High-Rate Lithium-Sulfur Batteries Through In Situ Etching of Extrinsic Metal.

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School of Materials Science and Engineering, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, 100081, P. R. China.
Advanced Research Institute of Multidisciplinary Science, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, 100081, P. R. China.
Department of Chemical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, P. R. China.


Surface reactions constitute the foundation of various energy conversion/storage technologies, such as the lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries. To expedite surface reactions for high-rate battery applications demands in-depth understanding of reaction kinetics and rational catalyst design. Now an in situ extrinsic-metal etching strategy is used to activate an inert monometal nitride of hexagonal Ni3 N through iron-incorporated cubic Ni3 FeN. In situ etched Ni3 FeN regulates polysulfide-involving surface reactions at high rates. Electron microscopy was used to unveil the mechanism of in situ catalyst transformation. The Li-S batteries modified with Ni3 FeN exhibited superb rate capability, remarkable cycling stability at a high sulfur loading of 4.8 mg cm-2 , and lean-electrolyte operability. This work opens up the exploration of multimetallic alloys and compounds as kinetic regulators for high-rate Li-S batteries and also elucidates catalytic surface reactions and the role of defect chemistry.


electrocatalysis; lithium-sulfur batteries; metal nitrides; polysulfide redox reaction; separators


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