3 years ago

Theoretical Studies on the Charging and Discharging of Poly(acrylonitrile)-Based Lithium-Sulfur Batteries

Theoretical Studies on the Charging and Discharging of Poly(acrylonitrile)-Based Lithium-Sulfur Batteries
Matthias Hanauer, Jonathan E. Mueller, Tianwei Zhu, Timo Jacob, Ulrich Sauter
Based on a previous study where key structural motifs of poly(acrylonitrile) (PAN) and sulfur/PAN (SPAN) were identified and their energies evaluated by using density functional theory, here plausible mechanisms for battery charging and discharging at a SPAN cathode were identified. Based on a simplified model for battery operation, we find that discharging the battery involves the formation of lithium polysulfide intermediates and the reductive adsorption of Li+ ions onto SnPAN. In both discharging and charging, Li atoms preferentially coordinate with N atoms on the backbone, leading to strong Li-SnPAN adsorption energies. Furthermore, we found that spatially separating a dissociated SnLi fragment from the backbone is difficult, providing a plausible explanation for the ability of a SPAN cathode to hinder polysulfides from diffusing to the cathode, leading to a reduction of the polysulfide shuttle mechanism. Taking charge: Plausible mechanisms for battery charging and discharging at a SPAN cathode are identified. In both discharging and charging, Li atoms preferentially coordinate with N atoms on the backbone, leading to strong Li-SnPAN adsorption energies. Moreover, it is rather difficult to seprate a dissociated SnLi fragment from the backbone, which provides a plausible explanation for the ability of a SPAN cathode to hinder polysulfides from diffusing to the cathode, leading to a reduction of the polysulfide shuttle mechanism.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/celc.201700549

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