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Review Article | Open Access

Towards practical lean-electrolyte Li–S batteries: Highly solvating electrolytes or sparingly solvating electrolytes?

Hualin Ye1Yanguang Li1,2( )
Institute of Functional Nano & Soft Materials (FUNSOM), Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Carbon-Based Functional Materials and Devices, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, China
Macao Institute of Materials Science and Engineering, Macau University of Science and Technology, Taipa 999078, Macau SAR, China
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Graphical Abstract


Lithium–sulfur (Li–S) batteries hold great promise to be the next-generation candidate for high-energy-density secondary batteries but in the prerequisite of using low electrolyte-to-sulfur (E/S) ratios. Highly solvating electrolytes (HSEs) and sparingly solvating electrolytes (SSEs), with opposite nature towards the dissolution of polysulfides, have recently emerged as two effective solutions to decrease the E/S ratio and increase the overall practical energy density of Li–S batteries. HSEs featuring with high polysulfide solvation ability have the potential to reduce the E/S ratio by dissolving more polysulfides with less electrolyte, while SSEs alter the sulfur reaction pathway from a dissolution–precipitation mechanism to a quasi-solid mechanism, thereby independent on the use of electrolyte amount. Both HSEs and SSEs show respective effectiveness in lean-electrolyte Li–S batteries, but encounter different challenges to bring Li–S batteries into practical application. This review aims to present a comparative discussion on their unique features and basic electrochemical reaction mechanisms in practical lean-electrolyte Li–S batteries. Emphasis is focused on the current technical challenges and possible solutions for their future development.



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Nano Research Energy
Article number: 9120012
Cite this article:
Ye H, Li Y. Towards practical lean-electrolyte Li–S batteries: Highly solvating electrolytes or sparingly solvating electrolytes?. Nano Research Energy, 2022, 1: 9120012.










Received: 28 April 2022
Revised: 29 May 2022
Accepted: 30 May 2022
Published: 03 June 2022
© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Tsinghua University Press.

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