Structure-Property of Lithium-Sulfur Nanoparticles via Molecular Dynamics Simulation

Y Li and NA Romero and KC Lau, ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES, 10, 37575-37585 (2018).

DOI: 10.1021/acsami.8b09128

Lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries offer higher energy densities than most reported lithium-ion batteries. However, our understanding of Li-S battery is still largely unknown at the level of the nanoscale. The structural properties of Li-S materials were investigated via molecular dynamics (MD) simulations using the ReaxFF force field. Several Li-S nanoparticles with different Li/S composition ratios (2:1 and 2:8) and various structures are studied. Our MD simulations show that among the four structures we constructed for Li2S8 nanoparticles, the core-shell structure is the most thermodynamically stable one during the charging (delithiation) process. In contrast to bulk crystal Li2S, we find the presence of mixed lithium sulfide and polysulfide species are common features for these Li-S (Li2S, Li2S8) nanoparticles. The complex distribution of these sulfide and polysulfide speciation are dictated by both stoichiometry and local atomic structures in the nanoparticle. These findings will provide insight into further development of functionalized lithium-sulfur cathodes.

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