Accurate Binding Energies for Lithium Polysulfides and Assessment of Density Functionals for Lithium-Sulfur Battery Research

Qiu He, Xiaobin Liao, Lixue Xia, Zhaohuai Li, Huan Wang, Yan Zhao, Donald G. Truhlar

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33 Scopus citations


Lithium-sulfur batteries have high theoretical energy density, but a better knowledge of their intimate structural details will be helpful in improving their conductivity and long-term cycling behavior. In order to identify the stationary configurations of lithium polysulfides (Li2Sn, 2 ≤ n ≤ 8) formed in the charging and discharging processes of the lithium-sulfur batteries, ab initio molecular dynamics was employed to sample the configuration space of Li2Sn, followed by optimization of structures by CCSD(T)-F12b/aug-cc-pVDZ. Using the optimized stationary points, we have created the LiSAE38 benchmark database of atomization energies (AEs) of 38 lithium polysulfide isomers by using the higher-level WMS and W3X-L methods. In addition, the performances of 39 density functionals have been assessed against the benchmark AEs and the relative stabilities of Li2Sn isomers. On the basis of the assessments with the def2-QZVP basis set, the PW6B95, B97-1, B3LYP-D3, TPSS, and DSD-PBEP86 density functionals are the most accurate for the AEs, whereas the mPW2-PLYP-D, DSD-PBEP86, PW6B95, HSE06, and PBEQIDH functionals are most accurate for the relative energies. Local functionals are of special interest because of their lower cost (faster timings in terms of computer resources) for large systems; among the tested local functionals, MN15-L and revM06-L are the most accurate for the calculations of relative stabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20737-20747
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number34
StatePublished - Aug 29 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the Thousand Innovative Talents Plan of the Chinese Government and by the Nanoporous Materials Genome Center by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Biosciences under award DE-FG02-17ER16362.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 American Chemical Society.


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