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Title: Polyamidoamine dendrimer-based binders for high-loading lithium–sulfur battery cathodes

Lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries are regarded as one of the most promising candidates for next generation energy storage systems because of their ultra high theoretical specific energy. To realize the practical application of Li-S batteries, however, a high S active material loading is essential (>70 wt% in the carbon-sulfur (C-S) composite cathode and >2 mg cm-2 in the electrode). A critical challenge to achieving this high capacity in practical electrodes is the dissolution of the longer lithium polysulfide reaction intermediates in the electrolyte (resulting in loss of active material from the cathode and contamination of the anode due to the polysulfide shuttle mechanism). The binder material used for the cathode is therefore crucial as this is a key determinant of the bonding interactions between the active material (S) and electronic conducting support (C), as well as the maintenance of intimate contact between the electrode materials and current collector. The battery performance can thus be directly correlated with the choice of binder, but this has received only minimal attention in the relevant Li-S battery published literature. Here, we investigated the application of polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimers as functional binders in Li-S batteries—a class of materials which has been unexplored for electrode design. Bymore » using dendrimers, it is demonstrated that high S loadings (>4 mg cm-2) can be easily achieved using "standard" (not specifically tailored) materials and simple processing methods. An exceptional electrochemical cycling performance was obtained (as compared to cathodes with conventional linear polymeric binders such as carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) and styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR)) with >100 cycles and 85-98% capacity retention, thus demonstrating the significant utility of this new binder architecture which exhibits critical physicochemical properties and flexible nanoscale design parameters (CNDP's).« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2211-2855; 48316
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Nano Energy; Journal Volume: 19
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
PAMAM dendrimers, lithium-sulfur batteries, binder, energy storage, high sulfur loading; Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory