In situ raman spectroscopy of sulfur speciation in lithium-sulfur batteries

Heng Liang Wu, Laura A. Huff, Andrew A. Gewirth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In situ Raman spectroscopy and cyclic voltammetry were used to investigate the mechanism of sulfur reduction in lithium-sulfur battery slurry cathodes with 1 M lithium bis(trifluoromethane sulfonyl)imide (LiTFSI) and tetraethylene glycol dimethyl ether (TEGDME)/1,3-dioxolane (DIOX) (1/1, v/v). Raman spectroscopy shows that long-chain polysulfides (S82-) were formed via S8 ring opening in the first reduction process at ∼2.4 V vs Li/Li+ and short-chain polysulfides such as S42-, S4-, S3•-, and S2O42- were observed with continued discharge at ∼2.3 V vs Li/Li+ in the second reduction process. Elemental sulfur can be reformed in the end of the charge process. Rate constants obtained for the appearance and disappearance polysulfide species shows that short-chain polysulfides are directly formed from S8 decomposition. The rate constants for S8 reappearance and polysulfide disappearance on charge were likewise similar. The formation of polysulfide mixtures at partial discharge was found to be quite stable. The CS2 additive was found to inhibit the sulfur reduction mechanism allowing the formation of long-chain polysulfides during discharge only and stabilizing the S82- product.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1709-1719
Number of pages11
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 28 2015


  • Li-S batteries
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • carbon disulfide
  • kinetic of polysulfides formation and decomposition
  • partial discharge
  • sulfur reduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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