Poly(2,5-dimercapto-1,3,4-thiadiazole) as a Cathode for Rechargeable Lithium Batteries with Dramatically Improved Performance

Jie Gao, Michael A. Lowe, Sean Conte, Stephen E. Burkhardt, Héctor D. Abruña

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Organosulfur compounds with multiple thiol groups are promising for high gravimetric energy density electrochemical energy storage. We have synthesized a poly(2,5-dimercapto-1,3,4-thiadiazole) (PDMcT)/poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) composite cathode for lithium-ion batteries with a new method and investigated its electrochemical behavior by charge/discharge cycles and cyclic voltammetry (CV) in an ether-based electrolyte. Based on a comparison of the electrochemical performance with a carbonate-based electrolyte, we found a much higher discharge capacity, but also a very attractive cycling performance of PDMcT by using a tetra(ethylene glycol) dimethyl ether (TEGDME)-based electrolyte. The first discharge capacity of the as-synthesized PDMcT/PEDOT composite approached 210 mAh g -1 in the TEGDME-based electrolyte. CV results clearly show that the redox reactions of PDMcT are highly reversible in this TEGDME-based electrolyte. The reversible capacity remained around 120 mAh g -1 after 20 charge/discharge cycles. With improved cycling performance and very low cost, PDMcT could become a very promising cathode material when combined with a TEGDME-based electrolyte. The poor capacity in the carbonate-based electrolyte is a consequence of the irreversible reaction of the DMcT monomer and dimer with the solvent, emphasizing the importance of electrolyte chemistry when studying molecular-based battery materials. The nature of the electrolyte has a dramatic effect on the performance of poly(2,5-dimercapto-1,3,4-thiadiazole) (PDMcT) as a cathode material in lithium-ion batteries. Whereas the use of an ethylene/diethyl carbonate (EC/DEC)-based electrolyte resulted in very poor performance, the use of a tetra(ethylene glycol) dimethyl ether (TEGDME)-based electrolyte dramatically improved the performance in terms of both the discharge capacity and capacity retention (see scheme). Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8521-8526
Number of pages6
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number27
StatePublished - May 29 2012
Externally publishedYes


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