Oxidized bacterial cellulose functionalized with SiO2 nanoparticles as a separator for lithium-metal and lithium–sulfur batteries

Wenyue Li, Shu Wang, Zhaoyang Fan, Shiqi Li, Nathan Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

It is highly desirable to develop lithium-metal batteries (LMBs), including lithium–sulfur batteries (LSBs), as the next-generation high-energy batteries. However, issues related to Li metal anodes and sulfur cathodes, such as non-uniform Li deposition and polysulfide shuttling, must be addressed. Here we report the study of bacterial cellulose (BC), modified by SiO2 nanoparticles (NPs), as a separator material for LMBs and LSBs. To achieve uniform decoration of SiO2 NPs on BC nanofibers, we oxidize and partly hydrolyze BC by introducing carboxyl groups and tetraethyl orthosilicate. Electrochemical studies confirm that the composite BC film can smoothen the Li+ flux, regulate the Li deposition, and curb the polysulfide shuttling due to the strong interaction of oxygen functional groups on oxidized BC and SiO2 with Li+ and polysulfides. As a separator used in lithium plating and stripping, the composite BC/SiO2 film offers much better stability, lower polarization voltage, and higher Coulombic efficiency than conventional separators. When applied in Li//S and Li//LiFePO4 batteries, it also demonstrates much-improved performance. Such a functionalized BC separator is very promising in LMB and LSB applications. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-493
Number of pages13
JournalCellulose
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Keywords

  • Bacterial cellulose
  • Lithium dendrite
  • Lithium-metal battery
  • Lithium–sulfur battery
  • Polysulfide shuttle
  • Separator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Polymers and Plastics

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