Direct visualization of sulfur cathodes: New insights into Li-S batteries via operando X-ray techniques
Seung-Ho Yu, Xin Huang, Kathleen A. Schwarz, Rong Huang, Tomas Arias, H?ctor Abruna
As the need for the development of post lithium ion battery technologies rapidly rise, lithium sulfur batteries have attracted widespread attention due to their high theoretical energy density of 2600 Wh kg-1. However, the detailed reaction mechanism remains poorly understood. In this study, we have combined two operando X-ray techniques, X-ray diffraction and X-ray microscopy, to visualize the evolution of both the morphology and crystal structure of the materials during the entire battery cycling process. The dissolution and reformation of sulfur clusters is clearly observed during cycling. In addition, some of the factors determining the size of the resulting sulfur clusters have been indentified for the first time. This study provides new insights into the continued development of lithium sulfur batteries.