Copper sulfide nanoparticles as high-performance cathode materials for Mg-ion batteries.Sci Rep. 2019 May 29; 9(1):7988.SR
Rechargeable magnesium batteries are appealing as safe, low-cost systems with high-energy-density storage that employ predominantly dendrite-free magnesium metal as the anode. While significant progress has been achieved with magnesium electrolytes in recent years, the further development of Mg-ion batteries, however, is inherently limited by the lack of suitable cathode materials, mainly due to the slow diffusion of high-charge-density Mg-ions in the intercalation-type host structures and kinetic limitations of conversion-type cathodes that often causes poor cyclic stability. Nanostructuring the cathode materials offers an effective means of mitigating these challenges, due to the reduced diffusion length and higher surface areas. In this context, we present the highly reversible insertion of Mg-ions into nanostructured conversion-type CuS cathode, delivering high capacities of 300 mAh g-1 at room temperature and high cyclic stability over 200 cycles at a current density of 0.1 A g-1 with a high coulombic efficiency of 99.9%. These materials clearly outperform bulk CuS, which is electrochemically active only at an elevated temperature of 50 °C. Our results not only point to the important role of nanomaterials in the enhancement of the kinetics of conversion reactions but also suggest that nanostructuring should be used as an integral tool in the exploration of new cathodes for multivalent, i.e., (Mg, Ca, Al)-ion batteries.