Date of Award

Spring 4-13-2021

Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Dr. Haoran Sun

Second Advisor

Dr. Miles Koppang

Third Advisor

Dr. Pere Miro


Battery, Cathode, Organic, Synthesis, Characterization, Lithium-Ion

Subject Categories

Analytical Chemistry | Organic Chemistry | Physical Chemistry | Polymer Chemistry | Power and Energy


The industrial demand for higher capacity, light-weight battery materials has skyrocketed in recent years due to heavy investments in portable electronics, electronic vehicles, and renewable energy sources. However, rechargeable battery technology has seen little improvement since the invention of the Lithium-Ion battery in the 1980s. The low energy density of the traditionally utilized LiCoO2 cathodic material (specific capacity: 272 mAh g-1), has limited its potential to meet these increasing demands. To solve this problem, our research group is investigating new types of lightweight, organic, polymeric materials with conductive backbones as a possible replacement for the cathodic materials in Lithium-Ion batteries. These polymers could be utilized as a rechargeable battery material by relying upon the redox couple between the nitroso and phenylhydroxylamine functional groups. These rechargeable materials would have a calculated theoretical capacity of 459.60 mAh g-1 or 433.52 mAh g-1. NMR results show that we have successfully prepared two monomers with thiophene functional groups and another model compound. Initial electrochemical study indicates multiple electron transfer reaction occurs during the reduction at about 2.5 V vs. Li/Li+ redox couple. Future work would focus on the optimization of polymerization condition of the monomers and to begin preliminary lithium battery discharge testing. This project explores the field of light-weight organic cathodic materials and has the potential to greatly increase the energy density for Lithium-Ion batteries. This would ultimately serve to remove the technology bottleneck that is holding research in other areas back and would be to the benefit of anyone who relies upon battery technology in their daily life.



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