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Title: Direct measurement of polysulfide shuttle current: A window into understanding the performance of lithium-sulfur cells

The shuttling of polysulfide ions between the electrodes in a lithium-sulfur battery is a major technical issue limiting the self-discharge and cycle life of this high-energy rechargeable battery. Although there have been attempts to suppress the shuttling process, there has not been a direct measurement of the rate of shuttling. We report here a simple and direct measurement of the rate of the shuttling (that we term “shuttle current”), applicable to the study of any type of lithium-sulfur cell. We demonstrate the effectiveness of this measurement technique using cells with and without lithium nitrate (a widely-used shuttle suppressor additive). We present a phenomenological analysis of the shuttling process and simulate the shuttle currents as a function of the state-of-charge of a cell. We also demonstrate how the rate of decay of the shuttle current can be used to predict the capacity fade in a lithium-sulfur cell due to the shuttle process. As a result, we expect that this new ability to directly measure shuttle currents will provide greater insight into the performance differences observed with various additives and electrode modifications that are aimed at suppressing the rate of shuttling of polysulfide ions and increasing the cycle life of lithium-sulfur cells.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA (United States)
  2. National Energy Technology Lab. (NETL), Morgantown, WV (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0013-4651
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of the Electrochemical Society
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 162; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 0013-4651
The Electrochemical Society
Research Org:
National Energy Technology Lab. (NETL), Pittsburgh, PA, and Morgantown, WV (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier: