Fluorinated covalent organic polymers for high performance sulfur cathodes in lithium–sulfur batteries

by H. Shin§, D. Kim, H. J. Kim, J. Kim, K. Char, C. T. Yavuz, J. W. Choi
Year: 2019 DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.9b01986


Lithium–sulfur (Li–S) batteries by far offer higher theoretical energy density than that of the commercial lithium-ion battery counterparts, but suffer predominantly from an irreversible shuttling process involving lithium polysulfides. Here, we report a fluorinated covalent organic polymer (F-COP) as a template for high performance sulfur cathodes in Li–S batteries. The fluorination allowed facile covalent attachment of sulfur to a porous polymer framework via nucleophilic aromatic substitution reaction (SNAr), leading to high sulfur content, e.g., over 70 wt %. The F-COP framework was microporous with 72% of pores within three well-defined pore sizes, viz. 0.58, 1.19, and 1.68 nm, which effectively suppressed polysulfide dissolution via steric and electrostatic hindrance. As a result of the structural features of the F-COP, the resulting sulfur electrode exhibited high electrochemical performance of 1287.7 mAh g–1 at 0.05C, 96.4% initial Columbic efficiency, 70.3% capacity retention after 1000 cycles at 0.5C, and robust operation for a sulfur loading of up to 4.1 mgsulfur cm–2. Our findings suggest the F-COP family with the adaptability of SNAr chemistry and well-defined microporous structures as useful frameworks for highly sustainable sulfur electrodes in Li–S batteries.