The Lithium Sulfur battery (Li-S battery) is a rechargeable galvanic cell with a very high energy density. By virtue of the low atomic weight of lithium and moderate weight of sulfur, Li-S batteries are relatively light; about the density of water. They were demonstrated on the longest and highest-altitude solar-powered airplane flight in August, 2008. Lithium Sulfur batteries may succeed lithium-ion Batteries because of their higher energy density and the low cost of sulfur. There is much interest in using Lithium-Sulfur (Li-S) batteries for electric vehicles.

Lithium-Sulfur (Li-S) Battery Advantages

Battery costs are driven primarily by the material content and yield. As sulfur is much less expensive than the typical components of other battery systems, the Lithium-Sulfur (Li-S) battery technology starts with a lower material cost than lithium-ion or lithium-polymer batteries. To further reduce costs of Lithium-Sulfur batteries, thin film deposition techniques can be used for 75% of the cell components, resulting in less electrochemically inert material per cell.

A unique feature of Lithium-Sulfur (Li-S) battery technology is its liquid cathode. This provides exceptionally fast transfer of charge and offers two benefits. First, a wide range of power delivery can be accommodated. When a surge of power is required, as in power tools or vehicle acceleration, the liquid cathode provides a rapid flow of energy. Second, low temperature operation has less effect on energy availability. The liquid cathode’s high-energy transfer rate provides at least 65% of ambient temperature rated capacity at temperatures as low as -40°C. Although consumer electronics are rarely exposed to these temperatures, this is important in in vehicles andmilitary electronics. In addition, no heavy metals are used, and therefore Lithium-Sulfur (Li-S) battery technology has low environmental impact.

Lithium-Sulfur (Li-S) Battery Energy Density

Lithium-Sulfur (Li-S) battery technology provides rechargeable cells with a gravimetric energy density of over 300Wh/kg and the promise of 600Wh/kg energy densities in the future.