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The soluble nature of polysulfide species created on the sulfur electrode has severely hampered the electrochemical performance of lithium–sulfur (Li–S) batteries. Trapping and anchoring polysulfides are promising approaches for overcoming this issue. In this work, a mechanically robust, electrically conductive hybrid carbon aerogel (HCA) with aligned and interconnected pores was created and investigated as an interlayer for Li–S batteries. The hierarchical cross-linked networks constructed by graphene sheets and carbon nanotubes can act as an "internet" to capture the polysulfide, while the microand nano-pores inside the aerogel can facilitate quick penetration of the electrolyte and rapid transport of lithium ions. As advantages of the unique structure and excellent accommodation of the volume change of the active materials, a high specific capacity of 1, 309 mAh·g-1 at 0.2 C was achieved for the assembled Li–S battery, coupled with good rate performance and long-term cycling stability (78% capacity retention after 600 cycles at 4 C).

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Publication history

Received: 23 June 2016
Revised: 29 July 2016
Accepted: 02 August 2016
Published: 13 September 2016
Issue date: December 2016

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© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements

This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 21376113, 51125011, and 51433001), Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (No. BK20150238), and the Project Funded by the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions.

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Reprints and Permission requests may be sought directly from editorial office.
Email: nanores@tup.tsinghua.edu.cn

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