Thermal plasma synthesis of Li2S nanoparticles for application in lithium-sulfur batteries
Nava-Avendaño, Jessica; Nussbaum, Matthieu; Veilleux, Jocelyn
Abstract : Inductively-coupled thermal plasma processes were used to produce nanosized Li2S. Prior to the syntheses, the feasibility of forming Li2S was first evaluated using FactSage by considering the phase diagrams of sulfur and different lithium precursors in reducing atmospheres; Li2O, LiOH·H2O, Li2CO3 and Li2SO4·H2O all showed promises in producing Li2S nanoparticles, as confirmed by experiments. Argon and hydrogen mixtures were used as plasma gases, and a carbothermal reduction was implemented for Li2SO4·H2O. In addition, carbon-coated Li2S nanoparticles were synthesized with downstream injection of methane. Carbon was shown to stabilize Li2S upon contact with ambient air. The Li2S nanoparticles were electrochemically tested in half-cells using electrolytes containing LiNO3 or Li2S6 as additives. It was found that adding LiNO3 to the electrolyte was detrimental to the electrochemical performance of Li2S, whereas the combination of Li2S6 and LiNO3 as additives doubled the charge and discharge capacities of the half-cell over 10 cycles.