ZnO Nanoparticles Anchored on a N-Doped Graphene-Coated Separator for a High Performance Lithium/Sulfur Battery

Suyu WangMing Wen


Fabrication of a nanocrystal zinc oxide (ZnO)/nitrogen-doped (N-doped) graphene composite using a novel and facile in situ sol-gel technique is demonstrated. Two-dimensional nanostructure morphology with uniform ZnO nanoparticles (average diameter of 10.25 nm) anchored on N-doped graphene nanosheets was observed via electron microscopy. Because of the polar heteroatoms on the graphene sheets, an abundance sites for polysulfide absorption were provided. More importantly, the strong chemical interaction between ZnO and polysulfides efficiently hindered the transport of polysulfides. Consequently, the lithium/sulfur (Li/S) battery with the ZnO/N-doped graphene composite-coated separator delivered enhanced performance in terms of discharge capacity and cycling stability when compared to the cell with a normal separator. With the modified separator, the battery achieved a discharge capacity as high as 942 mAh g-1 for the first cycle and remained at 90.02 mAh g-1 after the 100th charge/discharge test at 0.1 C. Results indicate that impeding the shuttling of polysulfides contributes to efficiently improving the behavior of the Li/S battery.

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