Leon Shaw, Rowe Family Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Armour College of Engineering, delivered a keynote presentation at the Ninth International Conference on Processing and Manufacturing of Advanced Materials (THERMEC 2016). The conference took place in Graz, Austria and covers all aspects of processing, fabrication, structure/property evaluation and applications of both ferrous and non-ferrous materials including biomaterials and other advanced materials.
Shaw’s presentation was titled “Hierarchical Design and Synthesis of Nanomaterials to Enable High Capacity Rechargeable Battery Electrodes.” He highlighted a novel concept of a hierarchical structure with a Li2S-carbon black (Li2S/CB) nanocomposite core encapsulated by a conductive shell to address multiple challenges encountered by Li-S batteries. The CB network inside the composite core allows most of the Li2S cathode material to participate in electrochemical reactions, while the outer conductive shell serves three functions simultaneously: i) offering a superhighway for both electron and Li-ion transport, ii) confining the volume expansion and shrinkage within the shell, and iii) preventing the dissolution of polysulfides into the electrolyte. Using this concept we have demonstrated the highest initial discharge capacity at the 0.2C rate among all of the reported works for the encapsulated Li2S and S cathodes.