These authors contributed equally to this work.
Polyethylene-Glycol-Doped Polypyrrole Increases the Rate Performance of the Cathode in Lithium–Sulfur Batteries
Article first published online: 20 JUN 2013
Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
Volume 6, Issue 8, pages 1438–1444, August 2013
How to Cite
Wu, F., Chen, J., Li, L., Zhao, T., Liu, Z. and Chen, R. (2013), Polyethylene-Glycol-Doped Polypyrrole Increases the Rate Performance of the Cathode in Lithium–Sulfur Batteries. ChemSusChem, 6: 1438–1444. doi: 10.1002/cssc.201300260
- Issue published online: 14 AUG 2013
- Article first published online: 20 JUN 2013
- Manuscript Received: 23 MAR 2013
- National Key Program for Basic Research of China. Grant Number: 2009CB220100
- International S&T Cooperation Program of China. Grant Number: 2010DFB63370
- National 863 Program. Grant Number: 2011AA11A256
- New Century Educational Talents Plan of Chinese Education Ministry. Grant Number: NCET-10-0038
- Beijing Novel Program. Grant Number: 2010B018
Polypyrrole–polyethylene glycol (PPy/PEG)-modified sulfur/aligned carbon nanotubes (PPy/PEG–S/A-CNTs) were synthesized by using an in situ polymerization method. The ratio of PPy to PEG equaled 31.7:1 after polymerization, and the PEG served as a cation dopant in the polymerization and electrochemical reactions. Elemental analysis, FTIR, Raman spectroscopy, XRD, and electrochemical methods were performed to measure the physicochemical properties of the composite. Elemental analysis demonstrated that the sulfur, PPy, PEG, A-CNT, and chloride content in the synthesized material was 64.6 %, 22.1 %, 0.7 %, 12.1 %, and 0.5 %, respectively. The thickness of the polymer shell was about 15–25 nm, and FTIR confirmed the successful PPy/PEG synthesis. The cathode exhibited a high initial specific capacity of 1355 mAh g−1, and a sulfur usage of 81.1 %. The reversible capacity of 924 mAh g−1 was obtained after 100 cycles, showing a remarkably improved cyclability compared to equivalent systems without PEG doping and without any coatings. PPy/PEG provided an effective electronically conductive network and a stable interface structure for the cathode. Rate performance of the PPy/PEG– S/A-CNT composite was more than double that of the unmodified S/A-CNTs. Remarkably, the battery could work at a very high current density of 8 A g−1 and reached an initial capacity of 542 mAh g−1; it also retained a capacity of 480 mAh g−1 after 100 cycles. The addition of PEG as a dopant in the PPy shell contributed to this prominent rate improvement. Lithium ions and electrons were available everywhere on the surfaces of the particles, and thus could greatly improve the electrochemical reaction; PEG is a well-known solvent for lithium salts and a very good lithium-ion catcher.