Mitigating the polysulfides “shuttling” with TiO2 nanowires/nanosheets hybrid modified separators for robust lithium-sulfur batteries

Zhen Dong Huang, Ming Tong Yang, Ju Quan Qi, Pei Zhang, Linna Lei, Qing Chuan Du, Ling Bai, Hui Fu, Xu Sheng Yang, Rui Qing Liu, Titus Masese, Haijiao Zhang, Yan Wen Ma

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


The “shuttling” of the dissolved lithium polysulfides (LPSs) has been a major impediment to the development of a robust lithium-sulfur batteries (LSBs). Functionalization of commercial polypropylene (PP) separators has been considered as a promising alternative strategy for further mitigation of the “shuttle effect” of LPSs. Herein, we re-engineer the surface of PP separator with a sodium-containing TiO2 hybrid composed of nanowires and nanosheets (STO-W/S), forming a unique sandwich-like surface layer. The polar nature of STO surface layer indubitably improves its wettability to electrolyte, subsequently enhancing Li+ conductivity. Meanwhile, the synergistic effect of the sandwiched sheet/nanowire hybrid structure, its strong chemical adsorption and the regeneration capability of STO-W/S to LPSs effectively suppresses the “shuttling” of LPSs. As expected, LSBs coupled with STO-W/S modified PP separators show superior electrochemical performance. They deliver high discharge capacity of 813 mAh·g−1 at 1C and superior cycling stability with a capacity fading rate of 0.067% for each cycle, and the capacity was still maintained at ~541 mAh·g−1 for 500 cycles. Based on the aforementioned advantages, this newly-proposed functionalization strategy for separators can be a promising route to develop the next-generation multifunctional separators for high-performance LSBs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124080
Number of pages10
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


  • Lithium-sulfur batteries
  • Separator
  • Shuttle effect
  • Surface engineering
  • TiO2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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