Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2022

Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Dr. Haoran Sun

Second Advisor

Dr. James Hoefelmeyer

Third Advisor

Dr. Miles Koppang


Lithium-ion batteries, electrochemistry, conducting polymers, nitro groups, cyclic voltammetry

Subject Categories

Analytical Chemistry | Computational Chemistry | Organic Chemistry | Polymer Chemistry


The development of organic electrode materials in rechargeable batteries has seen a resurgence in recent decades. This spike in interest is mostly due to the increased investments in renewable energy sources, grid-scale energy storage, and the rapid transition to electric vehicles. Current lithium battery cathode materials typically use some form of lithium metal oxide (specific capacity: 272 mAh g-1 which has problems with limited capacity, thermal runaway, and an unreliable supply chain. Our research group’s solution involves investigating new lightweight, organic redox groups combined with a conductive polymer backbone to serve as a possible replacement for the cathode in lithium-ion batteries. Our polymer materials would utilize the reversible redox couple between the phenylhydroxylamine and nitroso functional groups. These materials have theoretical capacities calculated at 459.6 and 433.5 mAh g-1. While our polymers successfully underwent oxidative polymerization, the process is unrefined and reaction conditions need to be optimized. To help remedy this poor polymerization we introduced a potential pulse in hopes of inducing a morphology change in the polymer structure. This project explores the field of lightweight, organic materials for battery cathodes where it has the potential to dramatically increase the energy density of lithium-ion batteries.



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