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A multiscale X-ray tomography study of the cycled-induced degradation in magnesium-sulfur batteries

Du, Wenjia, Hao, Zhangxiang, Iacoviello, Francesco, Sheng, Lin, Guan, Shaoliang, Zhang, Zhenyu, Brett, Daniel J. L., Wang, Feng Ryan and Shearing, Paul R. 2021. A multiscale X-ray tomography study of the cycled-induced degradation in magnesium-sulfur batteries. Small Methods 5 (5) , 2001193. 10.1002/smtd.202001193

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Rechargeable Mg/S batteries have the potential to provide a compelling battery for a range of applications owing to their high capacity and gravimetric energy density, safety, and low‐cost construction. However, the Mg/S energy storage is not widely developed and deployed due to technical challenges, which include short cycle lifespan and lack of suitable electrolyte. To study the microstructure degradation of Mg/S batteries, multiscale X‐ray tomography, an inherently nondestructive method, is performed on dismantled Swagelok Mg/S cells comprising a graphene–sulfur cathode and a super‐P separator. For the first time, 3D microstructure visualization and quantification reveal the dissolution (volume fraction decreases from 13.5% to 0.7%, surface area reduces from 2.91 to 1.74 µm2 µm−3) and agglomeration of sulfur particles, and the carbon binder densification after 10 cycles. Using tomography data, the image‐based simulations are then performed. The results show that the insoluble polysulfides can inevitably block the Mg2+ transportation via shuttle effect. The representative volume should exceed 8200 µm3 to represent bulk cathode. This work elucidates that the Mg/S cell performance is significantly affected by microstructural degradation, and moreover demonstrates how multiscale and multimodal characterization can play an indispensable role in developing and optimizing the Mg/S electrode design.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Chemistry
Cardiff Catalysis Institute (CCI)
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 2366-9608
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 April 2021
Date of Acceptance: 31 March 2021
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 03:59

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