Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jennifer Schaefer
Developing carbon cloth interlayer cathodes with tungsten disulfide catalysts for Magnesium Sulfur batteries
The Schaefer Research Group studies ion transport and interfacial phenomena while focusing on developing electrochemical storage devices (batteries). My personal research centers on making the cathodes for magnesium sulfur batteries. Lithium batteries have a
higher reduction potential than magnesium batteries, but magnesium is cheaper, more accessible, and exhibits more uniform metal deposition. A problem that these magnesium sulfur batteries face is that S8 molecules in the cathode break down to form intermediate magnesium polysulfides instead of reducing to MgS, and these polysulfides poison the anode and ruin the longevity of the battery. My research goal is to develop the best cathode to prevent the migration of polysulfides and thus improve the effectiveness of magnesium sulfur batteries. To accomplish this, I have been making carbon cloth interlayer cathodes with sulfur and a tungsten disulfide catalyst. The carbon cloth serves as a barrier blocking the flow of polysulfides while also providing fast electron transfer. The tungsten disulfide acts as a catalyst to adsorb the polysulfides and disperses uniformly on the carbon cloth interlayer. Although this should solve the problem in theory, my research is to test how these cathodes work in practice.