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MOF-Derived Co3O4 Polyhedrons as Efficient Polysulfides Barrier on Polyimide Separators for High Temperature Lithium–sulfur Batteries

1
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200444, China
2
Institute for Sustainable Energy, College of Science, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200444, China
3
State Key Laboratory of Advanced Chemical Power Sources, Guizhou Meiling Power Sources Co. Ltd., Zunyi, Guizhou 563003, China
4
Department of Physics, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth SY23 3BZ, UK
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(11), 1574; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9111574
Received: 29 September 2019 / Revised: 30 October 2019 / Accepted: 3 November 2019 / Published: 6 November 2019
The incorporation of highly polarized inorganic compounds in functional separators is expected to alleviate the high temperature safety- and performance-related issues for promising lithium–sulfur batteries. In this work, a unique Co3O4 polyhedral coating on thermal-stable polyimide (PI) separators was developed by a simple one-step low-temperature calcination method utilizing metal-organic framework (MOF) of Co-based zeolitic-imidazolate frameworks (ZIF-Co) precursors. The unique Co3O4 polyhedral structures possess several structural merits including small primary particle size, large pore size, rich grain boundary, and high ionic conductivity, which endow the ability to adequately adsorb dissolved polysulfides. The flexible-rigid lithium-lanthanum-zirconium oxide-poly(ethylene oxide) (LLZO-PEO) coating has been designed on another side of the polyimide non-woven membranes to inhibit the growth of lithium dendrites. As a result, the as-fabricated Co3O4/polyimide/LLZO-PEO (Co3O4/PI/LLZO) composite separators displayed fair dimensional stability, good mechanical strength, flame retardant properties, and excellent ionic conductivity. More encouragingly, the separator coating of Co3O4 polyhedrons endows Li–S cells with unprecedented high temperature properties (tested at 80 °C), including rate performance 620 mAh g−1 at 4.0 C and cycling stability of 800 mAh g−1 after 200 cycles—much better than the state-of-the-art results. This work will encourage more research on the separator engineering for high temperature operation.
Keywords: energy storage systems; lithium sulfur batteries; functional separators; high temperature operation; polyimide energy storage systems; lithium sulfur batteries; functional separators; high temperature operation; polyimide
MDPI and ACS Style

Zhou, Z.; Li, Y.; Fang, T.; Zhao, Y.; Wang, Q.; Zhang, J.; Zhou, Z. MOF-Derived Co3O4 Polyhedrons as Efficient Polysulfides Barrier on Polyimide Separators for High Temperature Lithium–sulfur Batteries. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 1574.

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