Multifunctional Cellulose Nanocrystals as a High-Efficient Polysulfide Stopper for Practical Li-S Batteries

Jie Liu, Yanyan Li, Yuxue Xuan, Liujiang Zhou, Dong Wang, Zhenwei Li, Haifeng Lin, Sergei Tretiak, Hui Wang, Lei Wang, Ziyang Guo, Shanqing Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Because of the severe shuttle effect of polysulfides, achieving durable Li-S batteries is still a great challenge, especially under practical operation conditions including the high sulfur content, high loading, and high operation temperature. Herein, for the first time, low-cost, eco-friendly, and hydrophilic cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) are proposed as a multifunctional polysulfide stopper for Li-S batteries with high performance. CNCs display an intrinsically high aspect ratio and a large surface area and contain a large amount of hydroxyl groups offering a facile platform for chemical interactions. Density functional theory calculations suggest that the electron-rich functional groups on CNCs deliver robust binding energies with polysulfides. In this work, CNCs not only firmly confine sulfur and polysulfides in the cathode as a robust binder, but also further hinder polysulfide shuttling to the Li anode as a polysulfide stopper on a separator. Consequently, the as-prepared Li-S batteries demonstrate outstanding cycling performance even under the conditions of high sulfur content of 90 wt % (63 wt % in the cathode), high loading of 8.5 mg cm-2, and high temperature of 60 °C. These results sufficiently demonstrate that CNCs have significant application potential in Li-S battery technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17592-17601
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2020


  • cellulose nanocrystals
  • high loading
  • Li-S battery
  • polysulfide stopper
  • practical condition


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