A new cathode design which may lead to wider use of lithium-sulphur batteries is reported in Nature Communications this week.
Lithium-Sulphur (Li-S) cells are light-weight and have high energy densities, but their development has been impeded by cathode degradation caused by dissolution of intermediary polysulphide compounds into the electrolyte. Linda Nazar and co-workers now produce a cathode which consists of porous silica embedded within a carbon/sulphur composite. The silica acts as an internal reservoir for intermediary polysulphides, preventing their dissolution in the electrolyte, and leading to a more durable cathode.
More development will be required, but the technology could be applied broadly to Li-S cathodes and may in future lead to long-life Li-S batteries.