A lithium–tellurium rechargeable battery with exceptional cycling stability

Abstract

A Li–Te rechargeable cell with exceptionally high specific capacity and cycling stability at high charge/discharge rates is presented. The cell was composed of a Te/mesoporous carbon CMK-3 composite positive electrode and a Li metal negative electrode. The Te/CMK-3 electrode was prepared using a melt diffusion process and characterized using scanning electron microscope, X-ray diffraction, and Brunauer–Emmett–Teller surface area analysis. Cyclic voltammograms of the Te/CMK-3 electrode suggested reversible (de)lithiation of Te at 1.63/1.88 VLi+/Li combined with irreversible formation processes. Initial cell cycling for formation process revealed voltage plateaus consistent with the cyclic voltammograms until a stationary capacity of about 400 mA h g−1 at 1C with 100 % coulombic efficiency was reached. Discharge capacities retained 96 % (0.5C), 86 % (1C), 78 % (2C), and 69 % (5C) of the theoretical specific capacity. Long-term cyclability tests involving 1000 charge/discharge cycles at 10C rate delivered an unprecedented specific capacity of 286 mA h g−1 at essentially 100 % coulombic efficiency (85 % capacity retention). The study bears testimony to the favorable high-rate stability of the Li–Te/CMK-3 cell design outperforming previously reported chalcogen-based electrode systems.

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Acknowledgments

We thank Benjamin Paul for his help with SEM. Partial financial support from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research through funding within the “Sino German TU9 network for electromobility” under the grant reference number 16N11929 is gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Peter Strasser.

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Koketsu, T., Paul, B., Wu, C. et al. A lithium–tellurium rechargeable battery with exceptional cycling stability. J Appl Electrochem 46, 627–633 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10800-016-0959-8

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Keywords

  • Lithium secondary battery
  • Mesoporous carbon
  • Cathode material
  • Tellurium