Poly(bisphenol) polymers as passivating agents for carbon electrodes in ionic liquids
journal contributionposted on 25.04.2016, 14:51 authored by Stephen Fletcher, Victoria J. Black
Poly(bisphenol) polymers are identified as a new class of passivating agents for carbon electrodes in ionic liquids. They are inert and can readily be deposited as thin, conformal films by electropolymerization. Unlike conventional poly(monophenol) polymers, a single voltammetric scan is sufficient to accomplish their deposition. This is seen, for example, in the cases of poly(bisphenol A) and poly(bisphenol P). In each case, the thickness of the electropolymerized films is determined by the quantum tunneling distance of the faradaic electrons. Thus, film growth terminates when the faradaic electrons can no longer transit the film at a measurable rate. At that point, all the faradaic reactions cease, while the capacitive charging processes continue unabated. Experimentally, film thicknesses are observed in the range 4–30 nm. A challenging test for the poly(bisphenol) polymers is to coat them onto arrays of microelectrodes (RAM electrodes). Normally, microelectrodes are difficult to coat by electropolymerization due to the intense flux of soluble intermediates away from their surfaces. In the present work, however, coating is facile due to the extreme insolubility of the intermediates. This same property makes the films strongly adherent. Such remarkable behavior suggest that poly(bisphenol) films may have an important role to play as passivating agents in supercapacitors. They may also find application in other areas of technology that require thin-film passivity, such as nanostructural engineering and device physics.
This work was sponsored by the EPSRC (UK) [Grant Number EP/M009394/1, “Electrochemical Vehicle Advanced Technology” (ELEVATE)]. V.J.B. also thanks Schlumberger WCP Ltd. (UK) and Loughborough University for financial support.