Metal chalcogenide hollow polar bipyramid prisms as efficient sulfur hosts for Na-S batteries

Muhammad Kashif Aslam, Ieuan D. Seymour, Naman Katyal, Sha Li, Tingting Yang, Shu juan Bao, Graeme Henkelman* (Corresponding Author), Maowen Xu* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


Sodium sulfur batteries require efficient sulfur hosts that can capture soluble polysulfides and enable fast reduction kinetics. Herein, we design hollow, polar and catalytic bipyramid prisms of cobalt sulfide as efficient sulfur host for sodium sulfur batteries. Cobalt sulfide has interwoven surfaces with wide internal spaces that can accommodate sodium polysulfides and withstand volumetric expansion. Furthermore, results from in/ex-situ characterization techniques and density functional theory calculations support the significance of the polar and catalytic properties of cobalt sulfide as hosts for soluble sodium polysulfides that reduce the shuttle effect and display excellent electrochemical performance. The polar catalytic bipyramid prisms sulfur@cobalt sulfide composite exhibits a high capacity of 755 mAh g−1 in the second discharge and 675 mAh g−1 after 800 charge/discharge cycles, with an ultralow capacity decay rate of 0.0126 % at a high current density of 0.5 C. Additionally, at a high mass loading of 9.1 mg cm−2, sulfur@cobalt sulfide shows high capacity of 545 mAh g−1 at a current density of 0.5 C. This study demonstrates a hollow, polar, and catalytic sulfur host with a unique structure that can capture sodium polysulfides and speed up the reduction reaction of long chain sodium polysulfides to solid small chain polysulfides, which results in excellent electrochemical performance for sodium-sulfur batteries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5242
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Early online date16 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


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