Synthesis of oxidized acetylene black/sulfur@Nd2O3 composite as cathode materials for lithium-sulfur batteries

  • Jin Guo
  • Mingang ZhangEmail author
  • Shijian Yan
  • Yanan Gao
  • Guohua Ma
  • Jiansheng Liu
Research Paper


Lithium-sulfur batteries with a high theoretical specific capacity of 1672 mAh g−1 have been paid tremendous attention to serving as energy storage system. However, the dissolution of polysulfide intermediates could result in poor cycling stability of lithium-sulfur batteries and hinder its practical application. In this work, a novel neodymium oxide (Nd2O3) nanoparticle doped the oxidized-acetylene black/sulfur (H-AB/S@Nd2O3) composite has been synthesized through in situ chemical deposition and solvent dispersion. The as-oxidized acetylene black is served as the conductive carbon scaffold and the as-prepared Nd2O3 nanoparticles, acting as the additive of the H-AB/S composite, can effectively alleviate the loss of polysulfides. As a result, the sulfur-based composite with 5 wt% Nd2O3 nanoparticles exhibits the high specific capacity and excellent cycling stability. The initial discharge capacity is 1171 mAh g−1 at 0.1 C and remains at 748 mAh g−1 after 200 cycles with a capacity retention of 63.9%. Even at a high current density of 1 C, the electrode delivers a maximum discharge capacity of 700 mAh g−1after activation and the capacity retention is approximately 68% after 200 cycles.


Sulfur composite electrode Acetylene black Nd2O3 nanoparticles Cycling property Lithium-sulfur batteries Energy storage 


Funding information

This study received financial support from Shanxi Science and Technology Foundation Platform Construction Projects (2015091011), Jincheng Science and Technology Planning Projects (201501004-21), and funds for Shanxi Key Subjects Construction.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Chen SQ, Sun B, Xie XQ, KumarMondal A, Huang XD, Wang GX (2015b) Multi-chambered micro/mesoporous carbon nanocubes as new polysulfides reserviors for lithium-sulfur batteries with long cycle life. Nano Energy 16:268–280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Chen Y, Liu N, Shao H, Wang W, Gao M, Li C, Zhang H, Wang A, Huang Y (2015a) Chitosan as a functional additive for high-performance lithium-sulfur batteries. J Mater Chem A 3:15235–15240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chu S, Majumdar A (2012) Opportunities and challenges for a sustainable energy future. Nature 488:294–303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Freitag A, Stamm M, Ionov L (2017) Separator for lithium-sulfur battery based on polymer blend membrane. J Power Sources 363:384–391CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Gu XX, Tong CJ, Wen B, Liu LM, Lai C, Zhang SQ (2016) Ball-milling synthesis of ZnO@sulphur/carbon nanotubes and Ni(OH)2@sulphur/carbon nanotubes composites for high-performance lithium-sulphur batteries. Electrochim Acta 196:369–376CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Huang XK, Shi KY, Yang J, Mao G, Chen J (2017) MnO2-GO double-shelled sulfur (S@MnO2@GO) as a cathode for Li-S batteries with improved rate capability and cyclic performance. J Power Sources 356:72–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hwang J, Kim HM, Lee S, Lee J, Abouimrane A, Khaleel MA, Belharouak I, Manthiram A, Sun Y (2016) High-energy, high-rate, lithium-sulfur batteries: synergetic effect of hollow TiO2-webbed carbon nanotubes and a dual functional carbon-paper interlayer. Adv Energy Mater 6:1501480–1501486CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Jayaprakash N, Shen J, Moganty SS, Corona A, Archer LA (2011) Porous hollow carbon@sulfur composites for high-power lithium-sulfur batteries. Angew Chem 50:5904–5908CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Jeddi K, Sarikhani K, Qazvini NT, Chen P (2014) Stabilizing lithium/sulfur batteries by a composite polymer electrolyte containing mesoporous silica particles. J Power Sources 245:656–662CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Li GC, Li GR, Ye SH, Gao XP (2012) A polyaniline-coated sulfur/carbon composite with an enhanced high-rate capability as a cathode material for lithium/sulfur batteries. Adv Energy Mater 2:1238–1245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Li Z, Zhang JT, Lou XW (2015) Hollow carbon nanofibers filled with MnO2 nanosheets as efficient sulfur hosts for lithium-sulfur batteries. Angew Chem 54:12886–12890CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Li YY, Cai QF, Wang L, Li QW, Peng X, Gao B, Huo KF, Chu PK (2016a) Mesoporous TiO2 nanocrystals/graphene as an efficient sulfur host material for high-performance lithium-sulfur batteries. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 8:23784–23792CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Li XL, Pan LS, Wang YY, Xu CS (2016b) High efficiency immobilization of sulfur on Ce-doped carbon aerogel for high performance lithium-sulfur batteries. Electrochim Acta 190:548–555CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Li X, Zhang L, Ding Z, He Y (2017) Ultrafine Nd2O3nanoparticles doped carbon aerogel to immobilize sulfur for high performance lithium-sulfur batteries. J Electroanal Chem 799:617–624CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Li X, Liu Y, Guo W, Chen J, He W, Peng F (2014) Synthesis of spherical PANI particles via chemical polymerization in ionic liquid for high-performance supercapacitors. Electrochim Acta 135:550–557CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Liang X, Wen ZY, Liu Y, Wu MF, Jin J, Zhang H, Wu XW (2011) Improved cycling performances of lithium sulfur batteries with LiNO3-modified electrolyte. J Power Sources 196:9839–9843CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Liang X, Wen ZY, Liu Y, Zhang H, Jin J, Wu MF, Wu XW (2012) A composite of sulfur and polypyrrole-multi walled carbon combinatorial nanotube as cathode for Li/S battery. J Power Sources 206:409–413CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Liang XH, Song QQ, Liu YS, Liu H (2015a) Preparation of ZnO porous nanostructures and its application in cathode material for lithium sulfur battery. Int J Electrochem Sci 10:9333–9341Google Scholar
  19. Liang X, Zhang MG, Kaiser MR, Gao XW, Konstantinov K, Tandiono R, Wang ZX, Liu HK, Dou SX, Wang JZ (2015b) Split-half-tubular polypyrrole@sulfur@polypyrrole composite with a novel three-layer-3D structure as cathode for lithium/sulfur batteries. Nano Energy 11:587–599CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Liang X, Nazar LF (2016) In situ reactive assembly of scalable core-shell sulfur-MnO2 composite cathodes. ACS Nano 10:4192–4198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Liu XY, Huang WL, Wang DD, Tian JH, Shan ZQ (2017) A nitrogen-doped 3D hierarchical carbon/sulfur composite for advanced lithium sulfur batteries. J Power Sources 355:211–218CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lu ST, Cheng YW, Wu XH, Liu J (2013) Significantly improved long-cycle stability in high-rate Li-S batteries enabled by coaxial graphene wrapping over sulfur-coated carbon nanofibers. Nano Lett 13:2485–2489CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Pang Q, Liang X, Kwok CY, Nazar LF (2016) Advances in lithium-sulfur batteries based on multifunctional cathodes and electrolytes. Nat Energy 1:16132–16142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Peng HJ, Zhang ZW, Huang JQ, Zhang G, Xie J, Xu WT, Shi JL, Chen X, Cheng XB, Zhang Q (2016) A cooperative interface for highly efficient lithium-sulfur batteries. Adv Mater 28:9551–9558CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Seh ZW, Li WY, Cha JJ, Zheng GY, Yang Y, McDowell MT, Hsu PC, Cui Y (2013) Sulphur-TiO2 yolk-shell nanoarchitecture with internal void space for long-cycle lithium-sulphur batteries. Nat Commun 4:1331–1336CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Seh ZW, Sun YM, Zhang QF, Cui Y (2016) Designing high-energy lithium-sulfur batteries. Chem Soc Rev 45:5605–5634CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Su YS, Fu Y, Manthiram A (2012) Self-weaving sulfur-carbon composite cathodes for high rate lithium-sulfur batteries. Phys Chem Chem Phys 14:14495–14499CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sun Y, Wang SP, Cheng H, Dai Y, Yu JX, Wu JP (2015) Synthesis of a ternary polyaniline@acetylene black-sulfur material by continuous two-step liquid phase for lithium sulfur batteries. Electrochim Acta 158:143–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Wang J, Chen J, Konstantinov K, Zhao L, Ng SH, Wang GX, Guo ZP, Liu HK (2006) Sulphur-polypyrrole composite positive electrode materials for rechargeable lithium batteries. Electrochim Acta 51:4634–4638CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Wang JZ, Lu L, Choucair M, Stride JA, Xu X, Liu HK (2011a) Sulfur-graphene composite for rechargeable lithium batteries. J Power Sources 196:7030–7034CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Wang HL, Yang Y, Liang YY, Robinson JT, Li YG, Jackson A, Cui Y, Dai HJ (2011b) Graphene-wrapped sulfur particles as a rechargeable lithium-sulfur battery cathode material with high capacity and cycling stability. Nano Lett 11:2644–2647CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Wang SW, Qian XY, Jin LN, Rao DW, Yao SS, Shen XQ, Xiao KS, Qin SB (2017) Separator modified by Y2O3, nanoparticles-Ketjen black hybrid and its application in lithium-sulfur battery. J Solid State Electrochem 21:3229–3236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Wei S, Ma L, Hendrickson KE, Tu ZY, Archer LA (2015) Metal-sulfur battery cathodes based on PAN-sulfur composites. J Am Chem Soc 137:12143–12152 [7]CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Xue WJ, Yan QB, Xu GY, Suo LM, Chen YM, Wang C, Wang CA, Li J (2017) Double-oxide sulfur host for advanced lithium-sulfur batteries. Nano Energy 38:12–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Yan JH, Li BY, Liu XB (2015) Nano-porous sulfur-polyaniline electrodes for lithium-sulfur batteries. Nano Energy 18:245–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Yang W, Yang W, Song AL, Gao LJ, Sun G, Shao GJ (2017) Pyrrole as a promising electrolyte additive to trap polysulfides for lithium-sulfur batteries. J Power Sources 348:175–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Yuan G, Wang G, Wang H, Bai J (2015) A novel three-dimensional sulfur/graphene/carbon nanotube composite prepared by a hydrothermal co-assembling route as binder-free cathode for lithium-sulfur batteries. J Nanopart Res 17:36–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Zhang B, Lai C, Zhou Z, Gao XP (2009) Preparation and electrochemical properties of sulfur-acetylene black composites as cathode materials. Electrochim Acta 54:3708–3713CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Zhang B, Qin X, Li GR, Gao XP (2010b) Enhancement of long stability of sulfur cathode by encapsulating sulfur into micropores of carbon spheres. Energy Environ Sci 3:1531–1537CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Zhang S, Deng C, Fu BL, Yang SY, Ma L (2010a) Effects of Cr doping on the electrochemical properties of LiFeSiO4 cathode material for lithium-ion batteries. Electrochim Acta 55:8482–8489CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Zhang Z, Jing HK, Liu S, Li GR, Gao XP (2015) Encapsulating sulfur into a hybrid porous carbon/CNT substrate as a cathode for lithium-sulfur batteries. J Mater Chem A 3:6827–6834CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Zhang YG, Sun LC, Li HP, Tan TZ, Li JD (2018) Porous three-dimensional reduced grapheme oxide for high-performance lithium-sulfur batteries. J Alloys Compd 739:290–297CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Zhao XH, Kim DS, Ahn HJ, Kim KW, Cho KK, Ahn JH (2014) Infiltrating sulfur into a highly porous carbon sphere as cathode material for lithium-sulfur batteries. Mater Res Bull 58:204–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Zhaorigetu B, Ridi G, Li M (2007) Preparation of Nd2O3 nanoparticles by tartrate route. J Alloys Compd 427:235–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Zhao Y, Tan R, Yang J, Wang K, Gao R, Liu D, Liu Y, Yang J, Pan F (2017) 3D-hybrid material design with electron/lithium-ion dual-conductivity for high-performance Li-sulfur batteries. J Power Sources 340:160–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jin Guo
    • 1
  • Mingang Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shijian Yan
    • 1
  • Yanan Gao
    • 1
  • Guohua Ma
    • 1
  • Jiansheng Liu
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Advanced Materials, School of Materials Science and EngineeringTaiyuan University of Science and TechnologyTaiyuanPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations