Faculty of Social Sciences

Conducting Redox Polymers for Electrode Materials: Synthetic Strategies and Electrochemical Properties

  • Date: 19 January, 09:15
  • Location: B41, BMC, Husargatan, Uppsala
  • Doctoral student: Huang, Xiao
  • About the dissertation
  • Organiser: Organisk kemi
  • Contact person: Huang, Xiao
  • Disputation

Organic electrode materials represent an intriguing alternative to their inorganic counterparts due to their sustainable and environmental-friendly properties. Their plastic character allows for the realization of light-weight, versatile and disposable devices for energy storage. Conducting redox polymers (CRPs) are one type of the organic electrode materials involved, which consist of a π-conjugated polymer backbone and covalently attached redox units, the so-called pendant. The polymer backbone can provide conductivity while it is oxidized or reduced (i. e., p- or n-doped) and the concurrent redox chemistry of the pendant provides charge capacity. The combination of these two components enables CRPs to provide both high charge capacity and high power capability. This dyad polymeric framework provides a solution to the two main problems associated with organic electrode materials based on small molecules: the dissolution of the active material in the electrolyte, and the sluggish charge transport within the material. This thesis introduces a general synthetic strategy to obtain the monomeric CRPs building blocks, followed by electrochemical polymerization to afford the active CRPs material. The choice of pendant and of polymer backbone depends on the potential match between these two components, i.e. the redox reaction of the pendant and the doping of backbone occurring within the same potential region. In the thesis, terephthalate and polythiophene were selected as the pendant and polymer backbone respectively, to get access to low potential CRPs. It was found that the presence of a non-conjugated linker between polymer backbone and pendant is essential for the polymerizability of the monomers as well as for the preservation of individual redox activities. The resulting CRPs exhibited fast charge transport within the polymer film and low activation barriers for charge propagation. These low potential CRPs were designed as the anode materials for energy storage applications. The combination of redox active pendant as charge carrier and a conductive polymer backbone reveals new insights into the requirements of organic matter based electrical energy storage materials.