Hydrophilic tannic acid-modified WS2 nanosheets for enhanced polysulfide conversion in aqueous media

Yuheng Tian, Kuang Hsu Wu, Xin Tan, Qingcong Zeng, Rose Amal, Da Wei Wang

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Polysulfide-based organic battery systems have demonstrated great potential for large scale energy storage, but are restricted by the cost and the flammability of the organic solvents. It would be ideal to establish the aqueous-based polysulfide electrochemistry to enable cost-effective stationary energy storage. However, the sluggish reaction kinetics of polysulfide placed a serious fundamental barrier to implementation. Here we developed hydrophilic tannic acid modified WS2 nanosheets as polysulfide conversion electrocatalysts in alkaline aqueous solutions. The tannic acid not only acted as a negatively-charged surfactant to effectively delaminate the bulk WS2 sheets, but also functionalised the delaminated WS2 nanosheets through the attachment of tannic acid functional groups, resulting in greatly improved hydrophilicity. Using graphene as the conductive support, the tannic acid-modified hydrophilic WS2 nanosheets demonstrated a promoting electrocatalytic activity for polysulfide oxidation and reduction in aqueous solution. The incorporation of tannic acid imposed the collective interactions between polysulfide and the WS2 nanosheets via the hydrophilic molecules and the polar surfaces. With a 0.5 M Li2S2 electrolyte, the graphene and modified WS2 mixture gave an areal specific capacity of 0.37 mAh cm−2, compared to 0.27 mAh cm−2 for the pure graphene.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number015005
    JournalJPhys Energy
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


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