Waterloo researchers use MgB2 as Li-S battery cathode host to enhance efficiency

Lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries, regardless of their excessive theoretical particular power, face sensible challenges together with polysulfide shuttling and low cell-level power density.

Researchers on the College of Waterloo have now proven that the light-weight superconductor MgB2 (magnesium diboride)—the typical mass/atom of which is comparable with carbon—as a metallic sulfur host fulfills each electron conduction and polysulfide immobilization properties.

In a paper within the journal Joule the groups reviews that, through the use of first-principles calculations, they discovered that borides are distinctive in that each B- and Mg-terminated surfaces bond completely with the Sx2− anions (not Li+), and therefore improve electron switch to the energetic Sx2− ions.

The surface-mediated polysulfide redox habits ends in a a lot greater change present as compared with MgO and carbon. By sandwiching MgB2 nanoparticles between graphene nanosheets to kind a high-surface-area composite construction, they demonstrated sulfur cathodes that obtain secure biking at a excessive sulfur loading of 9.three mg cm−2.

They conclude that this new avenue towards Li-S cathodes, when coupled with a protected lithium steel anode, might result in sensible implementation of batteries which might be lighter, but strong.


  • Quan Pang, Chun Yuen Kwok, Dipan Kundu, Xiao Liang, Linda F. Nazar (2018) “Light-weight Metallic MgB2 Mediates Polysulfide Redox and Guarantees Excessive-Power-Density Lithium-Sulfur Batteries,” Joule doi: 10.1016/j.joule.2018.09.024