A Li-S battery with ultrahigh cycling stability and enhanced rate capability based on novel ZnO yolk-shell sulfur host

Ruihan Zhang, Maochun Wu, Xinzhuang Fan, Haoran Jiang, Tianshou Zhao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Currently, lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries still suffer from fast capacity decay, poor coulombic efficiency (CE) and short cycling lifespan, which result from the severe shuttle effect issue caused by high solubility and rapid diffusion of lithium polysulfides (LiPSs) in organic electrolytes. Here, yolk-shell zinc oxide (YS-ZnO) spheres are synthesized and for the first time, applied as a host for Li-S batteries to tackle this challenge. The polar ZnO exhibits high chemical anchoring ability toward LiPSs while the unique yolk-shell structure not only provides an additional physical barrier to LiPSs but also enables much more uniform sulfur distribution, thus significantly suppressing LiPSs shuttling effect meanwhile promoting sulfur conversion reactions. As a result, the YS-ZnO enables the Li-S battery to display an initial specific capacity of 1355 mAh g−1 and an outstanding capacity retention capability (~89.44% retention rate) even after 500 cycles with the average CE of ~99.46% at the current of 0.5 C. By contrast, the capacity of conventional-ZnO-nanoparticles based battery severely decays to 472 mAh g−1 after cycling for 500 times. More impressively, the S/YS-ZnO based Li-S battery can maintain a low decay rate of 0.040% every cycle and high average CE of 98.82% over 1000 cycles at 3 C.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-144
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Energy Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • In-situ Raman test
  • Lithium-sulfur batteries
  • Shuttle effect
  • Yolk-shell structure
  • Zinc oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Electrochemistry

Cite this