Article | Published:

2D MoS2 as an efficient protective layer for lithium metal anodes in high-performance Li–S batteries

Nature Nanotechnologyvolume 13pages337344 (2018) | Download Citation

Abstract

Among the candidates to replace Li-ion batteries, Li–S cells are an attractive option as their energy density is about five times higher (~2,600 Wh kg−1). The success of Li–S cells depends in large part on the utilization of metallic Li as anode material. Metallic lithium, however, is prone to grow parasitic dendrites and is highly reactive to several electrolytes; moreover, Li–S cells with metallic Li are also susceptible to polysulfides dissolution. Here, we show that ~10-nm-thick two-dimensional (2D) MoS2 can act as a protective layer for Li-metal anodes, greatly improving the performances of Li–S batteries. In particular, we observe stable Li electrodeposition and the suppression of dendrite nucleation sites. The deposition and dissolution process of a symmetric MoS2-coated Li-metal cell operates at a current density of 10 mA cm−2 with low voltage hysteresis and a threefold improvement in cycle life compared with using bare Li-metal. In a Li–S full-cell configuration, using the MoS2-coated Li as anode and a 3D carbon nanotube–sulfur cathode, we obtain a specific energy density of ~589 Wh kg−1 and a Coulombic efficiency of ~98% for over 1,200 cycles at 0.5 C. Our approach could lead to the realization of high energy density and safe Li-metal-based batteries.

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Change history

  • 04 April 2018

    In the version of this Article originally published, a technical error in typesetting led to the traces in Fig. 3a being trimmed and made to overlap. The figure has now been corrected with the traces as supplied by the authors; the original and corrected Fig. 3a are shown below. Also, in the last paragraph of the section “Mechanistic study on Li diffusion in MoS2” the authors incorrectly included the term ‘high-concentration’ in the text “the Li diffusion will be dominated by high-concentration Li migration on the surface of T-MoS2 with a much smaller energy barrier (0.155 eV) to overcome”. This term has now been removed from all versions of the Article. Finally, the authors have added an extra figure in the Supplementary Information (Supplementary Fig. 19) to show galvanostatic tests at 1 and 3 mA cm–2 for the MoS2-coated Li symmetric cells. The caption to Fig. 3 of the Article has been amended to reflect this, with the added wording “Galvanostatic tests at 1 and 3 mA cm–2 can be found in Supplementary Fig. 19.”

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank J. Tour for discussions. We also thank KIST Jeonbuk (Korea Institute of Science and Technology at Jeonbuk) for providing the facility to carry out HRTEM and B. Gwalani for helping out with additional EDX analysis. W.C. acknowledges partial financial support from SEED fund at University of North Texas. K.C. acknowledges a part of financial support by the International Energy Joint R & D Program (No. 20168510011350) of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP), the Ministry of Knowledge Economy and the National Research Foundation of Creative Materials Discovery Program (2015M3D1A1068062).

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of North Texas, Denton, TX, USA

    • Eunho Cha
    • , Mumukshu D. Patel
    • , Juhong Park
    •  & Wonbong Choi
  2. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, TX, USA

    • Jeongwoon Hwang
    •  & Kyeongjae Cho
  3. Department of Mechanical and Energy Engineering, University of North Texas, Denton, TX, USA

    • Vish Prasad
    •  & Wonbong Choi

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Contributions

W.C. conceived the idea and designed the experiments. E.C. performed the cell fabrication, battery testing, SEM and TEM characterizations. W.C. and E.C. wrote the manuscript. M.D.P. performed the EIS measurements and cathode characterization. J.P. performed nano coating and analysed the Raman and XPS data. J.H. and K.C. performed the numerical simulation and provided data analysis. V.P. analysed the materials characterization data and edited the manuscript. All authors have discussed the results, read the manuscript and agreed with its content.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Wonbong Choi.

Supplementary information

  1. Supplementary Information

    Supplementary Notes 1–4 and Supplementary Figures 1–19, Supplementary Tables 1–2.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/s41565-018-0061-y

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