Article

Metal–organic framework-based separator for lithium–sulfur batteries

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Abstract

Lithium–sulfur batteries are a promising energy-storage technology due to their relatively low cost and high theoretical energy density. However, one of their major technical problems is the shuttling of soluble polysulfides between electrodes, resulting in rapid capacity fading. Here, we present a metal–organic framework (MOF)-based battery separator to mitigate the shuttling problem. We show that the MOF-based separator acts as an ionic sieve in lithium–sulfur batteries, which selectively sieves Li+ ions while efficiently suppressing undesired polysulfides migrating to the anode side. When a sulfur-containing mesoporous carbon material (approximately 70 wt% sulfur content) is used as a cathode composite without elaborate synthesis or surface modification, a lithium–sulfur battery with a MOF-based separator exhibits a low capacity decay rate (0.019% per cycle over 1,500 cycles). Moreover, there is almost no capacity fading after the initial 100 cycles. Our approach demonstrates the potential for MOF-based materials as separators for energy-storage applications.

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Author information

Affiliations

  1. Energy Interface Technology Group, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), 1-1-1, Umezono, Tsukuba 305-8568, Japan

    • Songyan Bai
    • , Xizheng Liu
    • , Kai Zhu
    • , Shichao Wu
    •  & Haoshen Zhou
  2. Graduate School of System and Information Engineering, University of Tsukuba, Tennoudai 1-1-1, Tsukuba 305-8573, Japan

    • Songyan Bai
    • , Shichao Wu
    •  & Haoshen Zhou
  3. National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures & College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Microstructures, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China

    • Haoshen Zhou

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Contributions

S.B. designed and performed the experiments. K.Z. helped with synthesis of the graphene oxide materials and calculation of the ion conductivity. X.L. and S.W. provided advice about the electrochemical experiments. H.Z. designed and supervised the work.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Haoshen Zhou.

Supplementary information

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    Supplementary Information

    Supplementary Figures 1–16, Supplementary Tables 1–2, Supplementary Notes 1–3, Supplementary References.