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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Polyimide-Coated Glass Microfiber as Polysulfide Perm-Selective Separator for High-Performance Lithium-Sulphur Batteries

School of Chemical Engineering, Chonnam National University, 77 Yongbongro, Buk-gu, Gwangju 61186, Korea
Advanced Materials Division, Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT), 141 Gajeongro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 34114, Korea
Advanced materials and chemical engineering, KRICT School, University of Science and Technology, Daejeon 34113, Korea
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(11), 1612;
Received: 22 October 2019 / Revised: 8 November 2019 / Accepted: 9 November 2019 / Published: 13 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Nanomaterials for Lithium-Sulfur Batteries and Beyond)
Although numerous research efforts have been made for the last two decades, the chronic problems of lithium-sulphur batteries (LSBs), i.e., polysulfide shuttling of active sulphur material and surface passivation of the lithium metal anode, still impede their practical application. In order to mitigate these issues, we utilized polyimide functionalized glass microfibers (PI-GF) as a functional separator. The water-soluble precursor enabled the formation of a homogenous thin coating on the surface of the glass microfiber (GF) membrane with the potential to scale and fine-tune: the PI-GF was prepared by simple dipping of commercial GF into an aqueous solution of poly(amic acid), (PAA), followed by thermal imidization. We found that a tiny amount of polyimide (PI) of 0.5 wt.% is more than enough to endow the GF separator with useful capabilities, both retarding polysulfide migration. Combined with a free-standing microporous carbon cloth-sulphur composite cathode, the PI-GF-based LSB cell exhibits a stable cycling over 120 cycles at a current density of 1 mA/cm2 and an areal sulphur loading of 2 mgS/cm2 with only a marginal capacity loss of 0.099%/cycle. This corresponds to an improvement in cycle stability by 200%, specific capacity by 16.4%, and capacity loss per cycle by 45% as compared to those of the cell without PI coating. Our study revealed that a simple but synergistic combination of porous carbon supporting material and functional separator enabled us to achieve high-performance LSBs, but could also pave the way for the development of practical LSBs using the commercially viable method without using complicated synthesis or harmful and expensive chemicals. View Full-Text
Keywords: lithium-sulphur battery; polysulfide shuttling; separator; glass fibers; polyimide lithium-sulphur battery; polysulfide shuttling; separator; glass fibers; polyimide
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kim, M.-J.; Yang, K.; Kang, H.-J.; Hwang, H.J.; Won, J.C.; Kim, Y.H.; Jun, Y.-S. Polyimide-Coated Glass Microfiber as Polysulfide Perm-Selective Separator for High-Performance Lithium-Sulphur Batteries. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 1612.

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