Microporous novolac-derived carbon beads/sulfur hybrid cathode for lithium-sulfur batteries

Soumyadip Chourdhury, Benjamin Krüner, Pau Massuti-Ballester, Aura Tolosa, Christian Prehal, Ingrid Grobelsek, Oskar Paris, Lars Borchardt, Volker Presser

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Novolac-derived nanoporous carbon beads were used as conductive matrix for lithium-sulfur battery cathodes. We employed a facile self-emulsifying synthesis to obtain sub-micrometer novolac-derived carbon beads with nanopores. After pyrolysis, the carbon beads showed already a specific surface area of 640 m2 g-1 which was increased to 2080 m2 g-1 after physical activation. The non-activated and the activated carbon beads represent nanoporous carbon with a medium and a high surface area, respectively. This allows us to assess the influence of the porosity on the electrochemical performance of lithium-sulfur battery cathodes. The carbon/sulfur hybrids were obtained from two different approaches of sulfur infiltration: melt-infusion of sulfur (annealing) and in situ formation of sulfur from sodium thiosulfate. The best performance (∼880 mAh gsulfur-1 at low charge rate; 5th cycle) and high performance stability (>600 mAh gsulfur-1 after 100 cycles) were found for the activated carbon beads when using melt infusion of sulfur.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-208
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of power sources
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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