Petzold, A.; Juhl, A.; Scholz, J.; Ufer, B.; Goerigk, G.; Fröba, M.; Ballauff, M.; Simone, M.: Distribution of Sulfur in Carbon/Sulfur Nanocomposites Analyzed by Small-Angle X-ray Scattering. Langmuir 32 (2016), p. 2780-2786

The analysis of sulfur distribution in porous carbon/sulfur nanocomposites using small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) is presented. Ordered porous CMK-8 carbon was used as the host matrix and gradually filled with sulfur (20−50 wt %) via melt impregnation. Owing to the almost complete match between the electron densities of carbon and sulfur, the porous nanocomposites present in essence a two-phase system and the filling of the host material can be precisely followed by this method. The absolute scattering intensities normalized per unit of mass were corrected accounting for the scattering contribution of the turbostratic microstructure of carbon and amorphous sulfur. The analysis using the Porod parameter and the chord-length distribution (CLD) approach determined the specific surface areas and filling mechanism of the nanocomposite materials, respectively. Thus, SAXS provides comprehensive characterization of the sulfur distribution in porous carbon and valuable information for a deeper understanding of cathode materials of lithium−sulfur batteries.