Multiscale Understanding of Covalently Fixed Sulfur–Polyacrylonitrile Composite as Advanced Cathode for Metal–Sulfur Batteries
Review article, 2021

Metal–sulfur batteries (MSBs) provide high specific capacity due to the reversible redox mechanism based on conversion reaction that makes this battery a more promising candidate for next-generation energy storage systems. Recently, along with elemental sulfur (S8), sulfurized polyacrylonitrile (SPAN), in which active sulfur moieties are covalently bounded to carbon backbone, has received significant attention as an electrode material. Importantly, SPAN can serve as a universal cathode with minimized metal–polysulfide dissolution because sulfur is immobilized through covalent bonding at the carbon backbone. Considering these unique structural features, SPAN represents a new approach beyond elemental S8 for MSBs. However, the development of SPAN electrodes is in its infancy stage compared to conventional S8 cathodes because several issues such as chemical structure, attached sulfur chain lengths, and over-capacity in the first cycle remain unresolved. In addition, physical, chemical, or specific treatments are required for tuning intrinsic properties such as sulfur loading, porosity, and conductivity, which have a pivotal role in improving battery performance. This review discusses the fundamental and technological discussions on SPAN synthesis, physicochemical properties, and electrochemical performance in MSBs. Further, the essential guidance will provide research directions on SPAN electrodes for potential and industrial applications of MSBs.

metal–sulfur batteries

sulfurized polyacrylonitrile

universal cathodes

chemical structure


Mohammad Shamsuddin Ahmed

Chonnam National University

Suyeong Lee

Chonnam National University

Marco Agostini

Chalmers, Physics, Materials Physics

Min Gi Jeong

Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KITECH)

Hun Gi Jung

Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KITECH)

Jun Ming

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Yang Kook Sun

Hanyang University

Jaekook Kim

Chonnam National University

Jang Yeon Hwang

Chonnam National University

Advanced Science

2198-3844 (ISSN)

Vol. In Press

Subject Categories

Inorganic Chemistry

Materials Chemistry

Other Chemical Engineering

Areas of Advance

Materials Science





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