Identification of lithium-sulfur battery discharge products through 6Li and 33S solid-state MAS and 7Li solution NMR spectroscopy

Laura A. Huff, Jennifer L. Rapp, Jessi A. Baughman, Peter L. Rinaldi, Andrew A. Gewirth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


6Li and 33S solid-state magic angle spinning (MAS) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy was used to identify the discharge products in lithium-sulfur (Li-S) battery cathodes. Cathodes were stopped at different potentials throughout battery discharge and measured ex-situ to obtain chemical shifts and T2 relaxation rates of the products formed. The chemical shifts in the spectra of both 6Li and 33S NMR demonstrate that long-chain, soluble lithium polysulfide species formed at the beginning of discharge are indistinguishable from each other (similar chemical shifts), while short-chain, insoluble polysulfide species that form at the end of discharge (presumably Li2S2 and Li2S) have a different chemical shift, thus distinguishing them from the soluble long-chain products. T2 relaxation measurements of discharged cathodes were also performed which resulted in two groupings of T2 rates that follow a trend and support the previous conclusions that long-chain polysulfide species are converted to shorter chain species during discharge. Through the complementary techniques of 1-D 6Li and 33S solid-state MAS NMR spectroscopy, solution 7Li and 1H NMR spectroscopy, and T2 relaxation rate measurements, structural information about the discharge products of Li-S batteries is obtained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-300
Number of pages6
JournalSurface Science
StatePublished - Jan 2015


  • Lithium sulfur battery
  • NMR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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