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KAUST, Aramco team develops 3D hierarchically porous MoS2 foam as high-rate and stable lithium-ion battery anode

Researchers at KAUST and Aramco have developed a three-dimensional molybdenum disulfide foam with a structural hierarchy across seven orders of magnitude. The foam provides an interpenetrating network for efficient charge transport, rapid ion diffusion, and mechanically resilient and chemically stable support for electrochemical reactions.

The extraordinary electrochemical performance of molybdenum disulfide foam outperforms most reported molybdenum disulfide-based Lithium-ion battery anodes and state-of-the-art materials. An open-access paper on the work is published in Nature Communications.

The self-assembling foam features a complex hierarchical structure that allows it to repeatedly soak up and then release large quantities of lithium ions with ease. The material could become a key component of fast-charging, long-lived lithium batteries.


(a) The manufacturing scheme illustrates the EHD setup and the structural evolution of the MoS2 foam. (b) Demonstration of up-scalable manufacturing of MoS2 foam on a 4-inch copper (Cu) substrate that comprises structural hierarchies over seven orders of magnitude, including (c) interconnected porous networks, (d) architected structure, (e) vortical truss unit cell, (f) nanopores and struts, (g) intertwined MoS2 sheets, (h) tears and holes on the basal plane, and (i) S vacancies. Wei et al.

The inorganic substance molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) has been earmarked as a promising potential lithium-ion battery (LIB) anode material. Typically, however, MoS2 consists of atomically thin 2D layers, stacked like sheets of paper. This brittle, layered structure lacks electrochemical stability and limits lithium-ion diffusion into and out of the material, explains Xuan Wei, lead author.

The team sought to convert 2D MoS2 nanosheets into a robust 3D material suited to battery anode use. After testing dozens of conditions, the team eventually hit upon a setup in which the nanosheets form an organized stable 3D foam.

The foam possesses a highly ordered hierarchical structure, from nanoscopic structural elements up to characteristics visible to the naked eye. These features were essential to the material’s excellent battery anode performance, which the team showed maintained a high lithium capacity over time. LIB anodes must withstand repeated swelling and shrinking as a large amount of lithium is absorbed and then released over each battery discharge/recharge cycle.


  • Wei, X., Lin, CC., Wu, C. et al. (2022) “Three-dimensional hierarchically porous MoS2 foam as high-rate and stable lithium-ion battery anode.” Nat Commun 13, 6006 doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-33790-z

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