Scientists have used sugar in a new type of battery architecture to increase their capacity.
Lithium-sulfur batteries store energy well, about five times more than modern lithium-ion batteries. The authors of the new work developed a new design for this architecture, in which they used sugar to make the battery more stable. As a result, she was able to work over 1000 cycles.
Scientists have previously researched the potential of lithium-sulfur batteries, but these experiments did not enter the market due to low stability: during charging, the positive sulfur electrode of the battery expands and contracts, and is also subjected to severe stress and wear out quickly. In addition, the negative electrode is contaminated with sulfur compounds.
Previously, scientists have partially solved this problem: they have developed a special binder that creates additional space around the sulfur particles, which means that there is more room for safe expansion during charging. They managed to make a battery that can withstand more than 200 cycles.
The authors of the new work aimed at the negative lithium electrode, which is contaminated with sulfur compounds. It was previously known that some sugar-based substances can prevent degradation in geological sediments and also maintain strong bonds between sulfides.
As a result, the researchers made a sugar-based additive for the mesh architecture of the electrode: it acts as a binder and forms mesh microstructures that help regulate the behavior of polysulfides. As a result, the battery with sugar showed a performance of about 700 mAh per gram and lasted over 1000 cycles.
The researchers note that their technology is capable of storing two to five times more energy than modern lithium batteries.