Redox Active Colloids as Discrete Energy Storage Carriers

Scientific Achievement

Redox active colloids (RACs) were introduced as a promising class of energy storage materials. These were synthesized and electrochemically studied for their charge transfer properties as well as charge storage capabilities.

Significance and Impact

A modular synthetic approach can now be used to synthesize “zero-crossover” materials for energy storage applications that utilize nanoporous membranes. RACs demonstrate that three dimensional macromolecular design can be used for the size-exclusion approach to nonaqueous flow batteries.

 Research Details

  • RACs were synthesized from poly(vinylbenzyl chloride) colloids via modular synthesis in several size distributions from 80 – 800 nm.
  • All RAC sizes showed near complete rejection across a nanoporous membrane.
  • RAC voltammetry showed electrochemical reactivity and reversibility.
  • Versatile electrode formats, including RAC monolayers demonstrated
  • Bulk measurements showed that viologen-based RACs can cycle reversibly at 99 ± 1% Coulombic efficiency over 50 cycles.
  • A prototype flow cell pairing ferrocene and viologen-based RACs was demonstrated to cycle efficiently.

DOI: 10.1021/jacs.6b06365

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