The sulfur content in carbon–sulfur hybrid using the melt-diffusion method is normally lower than 70 wt%, which greatly decreases the energy density of the cathode in lithium–sulfur (Li-S) batteries. Here, a scalable method inspired by the commercialized production of Na2S is used to prepare a hierarchical porous carbon–sulfur hybrid (denoted HPC-S) with high sulfur content (≈85 wt%). The HPC-S is characterized by the structure of sulfur nanodots naturally embedded in a 3D carbon network. The strategy uses Na2SO4 as the starting material, which serves not only as the sulfur precursor but also as a salt template for the formation of the 3D carbon network. The HPC-S cathode with such a high sulfur content shows excellent rate performance and cycling stability in Li–S batteries because of the sulfur nanoparticles, the unique carbon framework, and the strong interaction between them. The production method can also be readily scaled up and used in practical Li–S battery applications.
- dual-function templates
- hierarchical porous carbon frameworks
- lithium–sulfur batteries
- sulfur nanodots