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Nitrogen-doped porous hollow carbon sphere-decorated separators enhance performance of Li-S batteries

Researchers from Central South University in Changsha, China, have developed a separator with a nitrogen-doped porous hollow carbon sphere (NHC) coating for use in Li-S batteries. The NHC-decorated separator enormously improves the utilization of active material and enhances electrochemical performance.

They prepared the nitrogen-doped porous hollow carbon spheres by pyrolysis of a polydopamine (PDA) carbon precursor on the surface of silicon dioxide (SiO2). The resulting NHCs are coated onto one side of the separator using a slurry-coating method.

In a paper in Journal of Power Sources, they reported achieving an initial discharge capacity of 1656 mAh g−1 (0.2 C) and a low capacity fading rate of 0.11% per cycle within 500 cycles (1 C). They attributed this performance to the high specific surface area and pore volume of the NHCs which ensure electrolyte infiltration and act as a barrier for polysulfides. Furthermore, the high nitrogen content in NHCs can improve electronic conductivity and enhance interaction between nitrogen atoms and polysulfides.

The NHC-decorated separator is of low cost and can effectively improve energy density of Li–S cells, exhibiting potential for further development of Li–S batteries.


  • Zhian Zhang, Guanchao Wang, Yanqing Lai, Jie Li, Zhiyong Zhang, Wei Chen (2015) “Nitrogen-doped porous hollow carbon sphere-decorated separators for advanced lithium–sulfur batteries,” Journal of Power Sources, Volume 300, Pages 157-163 doi: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2015.09.067


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