Nonlithium Metal-Sulfur Batteries: Steps Toward a Leap
Present mobile devices, transportation tools, and renewable energy technologies are more dependent on newly developed battery chemistries than ever before. Intrinsic properties, such as safety, high energy density, and cheapness, are the main objectives of rechargeable batteries that have driven their overall technological progress over the past several decades. Unfortunately, it is extremely hard to achieve all these merits simultaneously at present. Alternatively, exploration of the most suitable batteries to meet the specific requirements of an individual application tends to be a more reasonable and easier choice now and in the near future. Based on this concept, here, a range of promising alternatives to lithium-sulfur batteries that are constructed with non-Li metal anodes (e.g., Na, K, Mg, Ca, and Al) and sulfur cathodes are discussed. The systems governed by these new chemistries offer high versatility in meeting the specific requirements of various applications, which is directly linked with the broad choice in battery chemistries, materials, and systems. Herein, the operating principles, materials, and remaining issues for each targeted battery characteristics are comprehensively reviewed. By doing so, it is hoped that their design strategies are illustrated and light is shed on the future exploration of new metal-sulfur batteries and advanced materials.