Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Analytical Multimode Scanning and Transmission Electron Imaging and Tomography of Multiscale Structural Architectures of Sulfur Copolymer-Based Composite Cathodes for Next Generation High-Energy Density Li-S Batteries

Published

Author(s)

Vladimir P. Oleshko, Andrew A. Herzing, Christopher L. Soles, Jared J. Griebel, Woo J. Chung, Adam G. Simmonds, Jeff Pyun

Abstract

Poly(sulfur-random-(1,3-diisopropenylbenzene) copolymers synthesized via inverse vulcanization represent an emerging class of electrochemically active polymers recently used in cathodes for Li-S batteries, capable of realizing enhanced capacity retention (1005 mAh/g at 100 cycles) and lifetimes of over 500 cycles. The composite cathodes are organized in complex hierarchical 3D architectures, which contain several components and are challenging to understand and characterize using any single technique. Here, multimode analytical S/(T)EM imaging and EDX/EEL spectroscopies coupled with multivariate statistical analysis and tomography were applied to explore origins of the cathode enhanced capacity retention. The surface topography, morphology, local ordering, bonding and chemical compositions of the cathodes created by combining sulfur copolymers with varying DIB content (0-50 % by mass) and conductive carbons have been investigated at multiple scales in relation to the electrochemical performance and physico-mechanical stability. We demonstrate that replacing the elemental sulfur with organosulfur copolymers improves the compositional homogeneity and compatibility between carbons and sulfur-containing domains down to sub-5 nm length scales resulting in (a) intimate wetting of nanocarbons by the copolymers at interfaces; (b) the creation of 3D percolation networks of conductive pathways involving graphitic-like outer shells of aggregated carbons; (c) concomitant improvements in the physical-mechanical stability with preserved meso- and nanoscale porosities required for efficient charge transport.
Citation
Microscopy and Microanalysis

Keywords

STEM, HRTEM, tomography, FESEM, EELS, EDXS, spectroscopic imaging, multivariate statistical analysis, Li-S batteries, sulfur copolymer-carbon composites

Citation

Oleshko, V. , Herzing, A. , Soles, C. , Griebel, J. , Chung, W. , Simmonds, A. and Pyun, J. (2016), Analytical Multimode Scanning and Transmission Electron Imaging and Tomography of Multiscale Structural Architectures of Sulfur Copolymer-Based Composite Cathodes for Next Generation High-Energy Density Li-S Batteries, Microscopy and Microanalysis, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=920894 (Accessed May 24, 2024)

Issues

If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact reflib@nist.gov.

Created December 17, 2016, Updated March 17, 2017