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A three-dimensional hierarchical sandwich-type graphene sheet-sulfur/carbon (GS-S/C) composite for use in a cathode for a lithium sulfur (Li-S) battery has been prepared by an ultrasonic method. The microporous carbon host was prepared by a one-step pyrolysis of Zeolitic Imidazolate Framework-8 (ZIF-8), a typical zinc-containing metal organic framework (MOF), which offers a tunable porous structure into which electro-active sulfur can be diffused. The thin graphene sheet, wrapped around the sulfur/zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 derived carbon (S/C) composite, has excellent electrical conductivity and mechanical flexibility, thus facilitating rapid electron transport and accommodating the changes in volume of the sulfur electrode. Compared with the S/C sample, Li-S batteries with the GS-S/C composite cathode showed enhanced capacity, improved electrochemical stability, and relatively high columbic efficiency by taking advantage of the synergistic effects of the microporous carbon from ZIF-8 and a highly interconnected graphene network. Our results demonstrate that a porous MOF-derived scaffold with a wrapped graphene conductive network structure is a potentially efficient design for a battery electrode that can meet the challenge arising from low conductivity and volume change.


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