DOI: 10.3390/nano13142149 ISSN: 2079-4991

Reduced Graphene Oxide Embedded with ZnS Nanoparticles as Catalytic Cathodic Material for Li-S Batteries

Roberto Colombo, Daniele Versaci, Julia Amici, Federico Bella, Maria Laura Para, Nadia Garino, Marco Laurenti, Silvia Bodoardo, Carlotta Francia
  • General Materials Science
  • General Chemical Engineering

Lithium-sulfur technology is a strong candidate for the future generation of batteries due to its high specific capacity (1675 mAh g−1), low cost, and environmental impact. In this work, we propose a facile and solvent-free microwave synthesis for a composite material based on doped (sulfur and nitrogen) reduced graphene oxide embedded with zinc sulfide nanoparticles (SN-rGO/ZnS) to improve the battery performance. The chemical-physical characterization (XRD, XPS, FESEM, TGA) confirmed the effectiveness of the microwave approach in synthesizing the composite materials and their ability to be loaded with sulfur. The materials were then thoroughly characterized from an electrochemical point of view (cyclic voltammetry, galvanostatic cycling, Tafel plot, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, and Li2S deposition test); the SN-rGO/ZnS/S8 cathode showed a strong affinity towards polysulfides, thus reducing their loss by diffusion and improving redox kinetics, allowing for faster LiPSs conversion. In terms of performance, the composite-based cathode increased the specific capacity at high rate (1 C) from 517 to 648 mAh g−1. At the same time, more stable behavior was observed at 0.5 C with capacity retention at the 750th cycle, where it was raised from 32.5% to 48.2%, thus confirming the beneficial effect of the heteroatomic doping process and the presence of zinc sulfide nanoparticles.

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