Understandings about functionalized porous carbon via scanning transmission x-ray microscopy (STXM) for high sulfur utilization in lithium-sulfur batteries

Jungjin Park, Seong Jun Kim, Kookhan Kim, Yunseo Jeoun, Seung Ho Yu, Chunjoong Kim, Yung Eun Sung, Elton J. Cairns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Functionalized porous carbons are necessary for the reversible operation of lithium-sulfur batteries (LSBs), however, their appropriate utilization and physicochemical states in the sulfur cathode are still unclear. Although numerous studies regarding distribution of sulfur in the pores of the carbon framework in the cathode have been reported, sulfur distribution and oxygen coverage on the carbon surface after sulfur infiltration have not been clearly investigated. In this study, we scrutinized the role of the pores in the oxygen-functionalized mesoporous carbon nanoparticle (O-MCN). Furthermore, we elaborated sulfur distribution, oxygen coverage, and pore utilization of O-MCN under the three different sulfur infiltration process. The soft x-ray scanning transmission x-ray microscopy (STXM) was used for the first time in the LSB system. The STXM enabled probing of local distribution of sulfur and the chemical nature of sulfur and oxygen in O-MCNs. Our findings provide a comprehensive understanding about how the sulfur infiltration process impacts the sulfur utilization during the redox reaction of sulfur in the oxygen-functionalized mesoporous carbon.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107446
JournalNano Energy
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Sept

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is supported by the Research Center Program of the IBS ( IBS-R006-A2 ), Republic of Korea and the KIST Institutional Program (No. 2V09381 and No. 2E31864 ), Republic of Korea. This work also was funded through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) by the Ministry of Education ( NRF-2021R1A6A1A03043682 ), Republic of Korea and the Ministry of Science & ICT and Future Planning ( NRF-2020M3H4A3081889 and NRF-2020R1A2C1005808 ), Republic of Korea.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • Carbon
  • Functionalization
  • Porous electrodes
  • Rechargeable Li/S cells
  • Transmission x-ray microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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