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Carbon black cathodes for lithium oxygen batteries: Influence of porosity and heteroatom-doping

Carbon materials have been widely used as cathodes in lithium oxygen batteries but the detailed influence of the structure of these materials on their performance is not very clear yet. In this study, the same starting pristine commercial carbon black (N330) was treated under different atmospheres and the resultant carbons were employed as cathode materials for lithium oxygen batteries. It was demonstrated that the porosity and surface topology of these carbons tremendously changed as their treating time increased. The parameters that influenced the battery performance were identified. It was found that the main factor determining the battery performance is the specific surface area of the carbon mesopores, while nitrogen- or oxygen-bearing functionalities, introduced in these carbons during their heat-treatment or by contact with air after their pyrolysis, had little or no influence on the battery performance.

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