Inverse vulcanization of elemental sulfur and styrene for polymeric cathodes in Li-S batteries

Yueyan Zhang, Jared J. Griebel, Philip T. Dirlam, Ngoc A. Nguyen, Richard S. Glass, Michael E. Mackay, Kookheon Char, Jeffrey Pyun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations

Abstract

High sulfur content copolymers were prepared via the inverse vulcanization of elemental sulfur with styrene. This reaction was carried out at a relatively low temperature and invokes a new chain transfer mechanism of abstraction of benzylic protons to form stable copolymers. The use of styrene as a comonomer for inverse vulcanization was attractive due to the low cost and wide spread industrial use of styrenics in free radical processes. The copolymers were used as the active cathode material in Li-S batteries that exhibited outstanding device performance, maintaining 489 mAh/g capacity after 1000 cycles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-116
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry
Volume55
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Authors acknowledge the NSF (CHE-1305773), the University of Arizona Renewable Energy Network, Kuraray, the WCU Program through the NRF of Korea funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (R31-10013), and the University of Delaware through the Department of Materials Science and Engineering for support of this work. KC acknowledges the support from NRF for the National Creative Research Initiative Center for Intelligent Hybrids (2010-0018290). JP declares an actual or potential financial conflict of interest and is co-founder/equity holder in Innovative Energetics, a licensee of University of Arizona (UA) intellectual property. This relationship has been disclosed to the UA Institutional Review Committee and is managed by a Financial Conflict of Interest Management Plan.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Keywords

  • Li-S batteries
  • copolymerization
  • electrochemistry
  • inverse vulcanization
  • polysulfides

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