The role of electrocatalytic materials for developing post-lithium metal||sulfur batteries

Nat Commun. 2024 Jun 5;15(1):4797. doi: 10.1038/s41467-024-49164-6.


The exploration of post-Lithium (Li) metals, such as Sodium (Na), Potassium (K), Magnesium (Mg), Calcium (Ca), Aluminum (Al), and Zinc (Zn), for electrochemical energy storage has been driven by the limited availability of Li and the higher theoretical specific energies compared to the state-of-the-art Li-ion batteries. Post-Li metal||S batteries have emerged as a promising system for practical applications. Yet, the insufficient understanding of quantitative cell parameters and the mechanisms of sulfur electrocatalytic conversion hinder the advancement of these battery technologies. This perspective offers a comprehensive analysis of electrode parameters, including S mass loading, S content, electrolyte/S ratio, and negative/positive electrode capacity ratio, in establishing the specific energy (Wh kg-1) of post-Li metal||S batteries. Additionally, we critically evaluate the progress in investigating electrochemical sulfur conversion via homogeneous and heterogeneous electrocatalytic approaches in both non-aqueous Na/K/Mg/Ca/Al||S and aqueous Zn||S batteries. Lastly, we provide a critical outlook on potential research directions for designing practical post-Li metal||S batteries.

Publication types

  • Review