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Title: Working towards a new sustainable rechargeable battery : zinc, conducting polymer and deep eutectic solvent system
Author: Fullarton, Claire
ISNI:       0000 0004 5992 8153
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2015
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Electronically conducting polymers based on functionalised thiophenes and pyrroles have continued to stimulate academic interest as well as starting to be employed in practical applications and uses. This thesis describes studies of the electronic properties of mixed thiophene-pyrrole polymers (based on custom synthesised mixed monomer precursors) and polymers electrodeposited from commercially available monomers, pyrrole and 3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene, in respect to energy storage applications including batteries and ion selective membranes. In such applications the movement of ion and solvent through the polymer film during oxidation and reduction cycles is critical to application and function, e.g. charging rate, metal ion permeability or adhesion stability. Recently the unexpected behaviour of polypyrrole in choline chloride based ionic liquids has been described. These liquids are especially attractive because of their unique solubility profiles, high stability, low volatility and low toxicity. This thesis describes the electrochemical characterisation, DC capacitance behaviour and ion/solvent transport properties of conducting polymers using a range of electrochemical methodologies in combination with acoustic impedance electrochemical quartz crystal microbalance techniques (EQCM) and X-Ray Photo-electron Spectroscopy (XPS). The behaviour of several mixed thiophene-pyrrole films, polypyrrole and poly 3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene in different electrolyte media; deep eutectic solvents (DESs), conventional organic solvents and aqueous media are contrasted in this thesis. PEDOT and one of the mixed thiophene-pyrrole polymers (poly 2-(thiophene-2-yl)-1H pyrrole) gave the highest DC capacitances of the polymers investigated, with high values observed in both choline chloride based (Type III) and zinc based (Type IV) DESs. The ion dynamics of the polymers p-doping in the DESs, observed to fit gravimetric data recorded, was able to show a marked difference in the ion transfers between DES types and a conventional organic solvent, acetonitrile. Both polymers in acetonitrile and the zinc based DES (ZnCl2 / EG) satisfied the electro-neutrality condition through dominance of anion transfers. Whereas, polymers in the choline chloride based DES (Ethaline) satisfied the electro-neutrality condition through dominance of choline cation transfers (in the opposite direction to anion transfers). This research involved work towards the development of a new class of rechargeable batteries based on a Zinc-Polymer system incorporating a novel, inexpensive, environmentally sustainable solvent. This work is necessitated by the problems associated with petrol and diesel powered vehicles and the limitations of batteries available for electric vehicles.
Supervisor: Ryder, Karl ; Hillman, Rob Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available