π‐Conjugation Enables Ultra‐High Rate Capabilities and Cycling Stabilities in Phenothiazine Copolymers as Cathode‐Active Battery Materials

Authors: Pascal Acker, Luisa Rzesny, Cleber F. N. Marchiori, C. Moyses Araujo and Birgit Esser

In recent years, organic battery cathode materials have emerged as an attractive alternative to metal oxide–based cathodes. Organic redox polymers that can be reversibly oxidized are particularly promising. A drawback, however, often is their limited cycling stability and rate performance in a high voltage range of more than 3.4 V versus Li/Li+. Herein, a conjugated copolymer design with phenothiazine as a redox‐active group and a bithiophene co‐monomer is presented, enabling ultra‐high rate capability and cycling stability. After 30 000 cycles at a 100C rate, >97% of the initial capacity is retained. The composite electrodes feature defined discharge potentials at 3.6 V versus Li/Li+ due to the presence of separated phenothiazine redox centers. The semiconducting nature of the polymer allows for fast charge transport in the composite electrode at a high mass loading of 60 wt%. A comparison with three structurally related polymers demonstrates that changing the size, amount, or nature of the side groups leads to a reduced cell performance. This conjugated copolymer design can be used in the development of advanced redox polymers for batteries.

Adv. Funct. Mater.2019, 1906436

https://doi.org/10.1002/adfm.201906436

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