Lithium-enriched polypyrrole as a prospective cathode material for Li-ion cells

Research paper by Joseph John, M. Manoj; K. M. Anilkumar; V. S. Pradeep; S. Jayalekshmi

Indexed on: 16 Aug '18Published on: 01 Sep '18Published in: Ionics


Lithium substitution in polypyrrole can be accomplished by a variety of approaches and the present work introduces one of the cost-effective techniques using a relatively less expensive lithium salt, n-butyllithium in hexanes (n-BuLi), as the dopant. Chemical oxidative polymerization method is employed to synthesize polypyrrole (PPy) using anhydrous ferric chloride as the oxidant and it is dedoped using NH4OH solution in the fully reduced state. The dedoped polypyrrole is treated with n-butyllithium in hexanes (n-BuLi) in an argon-filled glove box to get the lithiated form of polypyrrole (PPyL) and the concentration of n-BuLi is varied to improve metalation. The lithiated PPy is characterized by FTIR spectroscopy, XRD, FESEM, and TEM techniques to understand the structural and the morphological details. The lithium content in the lithiated samples is estimated using ICP-AES analysis. The thermal studies using the TGA technique show that the lithiated polypyrrole has good thermal stability. Coin cells are assembled in the argon-filled glove box using Li-substituted polypyrrole as the cathode, lithium metal foil as the anode, and lithium hexafluorophosphate (LiPF6) as the electrolyte. The assembled cells are electrochemically characterized using cyclic voltammetry and charge–discharge cycling techniques and it is seen that the Li-substituted polypyrrole-based Li-ion cells are electrochemically active.