Lithium–sulfur batteries (LSBs) hold great promise as one of the next-generation power supplies for portable electronics and electric vehicles due to their ultrahigh energy density, cost effectiveness, and environmental benignity. However, their practical application has been impeded owing to the electronic insulation of sulfur and its intermediates, serious shuttle effect, large volume variation, and uncontrollable formation of lithium dendrites. Over the past decades, many pioneering strategies have been developed to address these issues via improving electrodes, electrolytes, separators and binders. Remarkably, polymers can be readily applied to all these aspects due to their structural designability, functional versatility, superior chemical stability and processability. Moreover, their lightweight and rich resource characteristics enable the production of LSBs with high-volume energy density at low cost. Surprisingly, there have been few reviews on development of polymers in LSBs. Herein, breakthroughs and future perspectives of emerging polymers in LSBs are scrutinized. Significant attention is centered on recent implementation of polymers in each component of LSBs with an emphasis on intrinsic mechanisms underlying their specific functions. The review offers a comprehensive overview of state-of-the-art polymers for LSBs, provides in-depth insights into addressing key challenges, and affords important resources for researchers working on electrochemical energy systems.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (52173091, 51973235, 51902349, and 51673061), the Hubei Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (2019CFB260), the Wuhan Science and Technology Bureau (2020010601012198), and the Fundamental Research Funds for Central Universities (CZP19001 and CZQ19003).
© 2021 The Authors. Advanced Science published by Wiley-VCH GmbH