Researchers are trying to find a way to replace lithium-ion batteries and the best solution currently considered is lithium-sulfur batteries which are seems to be a good replacement thanks to their high energy density. But the complexity of the electrochemical system especially the insulate nature of the sulfur; make it hard to be applied completely.
Scientists have developed a new strategy to build stable lithium lithium-sulfur batteries based on an ion selective membrane system. Based on this new system, the degradation of the batteries was much increased for the first 500 cycles. The energy resistance of the battery seems to have also increased considerably which can benefit greatly the total energy of the battery system. The energy system will allow filling the gap between currently available battery systems and electric vehicles or consumer electronics.
With the design of cathode electrode completely based on the suppression of the called shuttle effect in lithium sulfur battery; the cation permselective membrane was employed to help separate lithium-ions and polysulfide ions based on their different charge nature.
The electrostatic interaction allows diffusion across the membrane but prevents the permeation of polysulfide anions, which suppressed the shuttle effect. A coating method was the experiment employed to help build a complete selective ion shield between the cathode and anode. Researchers could observe by visualizing through a glass cell that the polysulfide was prevented from reaching the anode side when using the ion selective membrane.
The approach shed some light on building ultra-stable lithium-sulfur batteries by suppressing the shuttle effect. The method is fully applicable with other advanced electrodes. Scientists hope to resolve the problems of degradation in lithium sulfur batteries which can help them build them even better batteries.