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Three-dimensional micron-porous graphene foams for lightweight current collectors of lithium-sulfur batteries

Lu, Liqiang, De Hosson, Jeff Th. M., Pei, Yutao
Carbon 2019 v.144 pp. 713-723
batteries, cathodes, collectors, energy, foams, graphene, metals, salts, sulfur, vapors
This paper reports a three-dimensional (3D) stochastic bicontinuous micron-porous graphene foam (3D-MPGF) developed as lightweight binder-free current collectors for sulfur cathodes of lithium-sulfur batteries. 3D-MPGF is synthesized by a facile process that originally combines the synthesis of porous metals by the reduction of metallic salts and chemical vapor deposition (CVD) growth of graphene in a continuous route. 3D-MPGF presents micron-porous structure with both interconnected tubular pores and nontubular pores of sizes from hundreds nanometers to several microns. By adjusting CVD time, the thickness of graphene wall is tunable from few atomic layers to ten layers. Raman results prove a high crystalline of 3D-MPGF. Attributed to the low density and high quality, 3D-MPGF can be used as promising lightweight binder-free current collectors. The 3D-MPGF loaded with S of 2.5 mg cm−2 exhibited an ultrahigh initial capacity of 844 mAh g−1 (of electrode), and maintain at 400 mAh g−1 after 50 cycles at 0.1C (167 mA g−1). With increasing the loading of S, the electrodes present higher areal capacities. When the loading of S is 13 mg cm−2, the areal capacity of 3D-MPGF/S reaches 5.9 mAh cm−2 after 50 cycles at 0.1C. The use of 3D micron-porous graphene foam proves considerably enhanced gravimetric capacity densities (of overall electrode), which can be a direction not only for batteries but also for other energy storage devices.