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Research Papers

Electrocatalytically Active Niobium Sulfide Modified Carbon Cloth for Lithium–Sulfur Batteries

[+] Author and Article Information
Leela Mohana Reddy Arava

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Wayne State University,
5050 Anthony Wayne Drive,
Room# 2140,
Detroit, MI 48202
e-mail: leela.arava@wayne.edu

Deepesh Gopalakrishnan

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Wayne State University,
5050 Anthony Wayne Drive,
Room# 2140,
Detroit, MI 48202
e-mail: deepesh@wayne.edu

Andrew Lee

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Wayne State University,
5050 Anthony Wayne Drive,
Room# 2140,
Detroit, MI 48202
e-mail: andrewlee1030@gmail.com

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received June 13, 2017; final manuscript received September 19, 2017; published online October 17, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Partha P. Mukherjee.

J. Electrochem. En. Conv. Stor. 15(1), 011005 (Oct 17, 2017) (5 pages) Paper No: JEECS-17-1069; doi: 10.1115/1.4038020 History: Received June 13, 2017; Revised September 19, 2017

We report a simple novel annealing technique for the synthesis of NbS2 nanoflakes. The synthesized NbS2 flakes were characterized well with different spectroscopic and microscopic techniques and confirmed they are in 3R-NbS2 polymorph structure, which is semiconducting in nature. Later, they were successfully deposited onto carbon cloth (CC) and tested for Li–S cell. Lithium–sulfur batteries suffer from polysulfide (PS) shuttling effects which hinder the performance of the cell. High capacity fade, slow redox kinetics, and the low cyclability of cells are just some of the many problems caused by the shuttling effect that hinder the viability of the battery. Herein, we utilized the catalytic nature of NbS2 along with the high conductivity of CC for better PS adsorption, their liquid to solid conversion, fast PS redox kinetics which substantially enhanced the overall Li–S performance.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Characterization of NbS2 nanoflakes: (a) XRD pattern of NbS2 flakes and (b) raman spectrum showing characteristic vibration modes of NbS2 nanoflakes

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Fig. 2

Morphological characterization of NbS2 nanoflakes, NbS2/CC: (a) SEM image of NbS2 flakes, (b) the fragmented single NbS2 nanoflakes after sonication process, (c) SEM image of bare CC, and (d) fragmented NbS2 flakes on CC after deposition

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Fig. 3

Electrochemical behavior: (a) and (b) charge–discharge profiles of bare CC and NbS2/CC at 0.1 C rate, respectively, (c) cycling study of electrocatalytically active NbS2/CC and bare CC as working electrode versus Li/Li+ with catholyte consisting of 0.2 M Li2S8 at 0.1 C rate, and (d) comparison of charge discharge curves of NbS2/CC and bare CC for analyzing the polarization behavior

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Fig. 4

Charge–discharge profiles of bare NbS2 at 0.1 C rate

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Fig. 5

Coulombic efficiency of NbS2/CC and bare CC electrodes

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Fig. 6

Electrocatalytic properties: (a) AC impedance measurements of NbS2/CC and bare CC electrode and (b) comparative cyclic voltammograms of NbS2/CC and bare CC as a working electrode versus Li/Li+ in 0.06 M catholyte solution at scan rate of 0.1 mV/s

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