A hydrophilic radical polymer, poly(2,2,6,6-teteramethylpiperidinyloxyl-4- yl acrylamide) (PTAm), was synthesized via oxidation of the corresponding precursor polymer, poly(2,2,6,6-teteramethylpiperidine-4-yl acrylamide). Electrochemical properties of the PTAm layer were characterized in three aqueous electrolytes of sodium chloride (NaCl), sodium tetrafluoroborate (NaBF 4), and sodium hexafluorophosphate (NaPF 6) to optimize its activity as an organic cathode. The counter anion species significantly affected the capacity and the cycle performance of the PTAm layer. The PTAm layer in the presence of BF 4 -1 displayed quantitative redox capacity beyond 1 μm layer thickness and maintained the discharging capacity of 110 mAh g -1 (97% vs. the calculated capacity) even after 1000 cycle charging/discharging, which could be ascribed to its appropriate affinity to the aqueous electrolyte without any dissolution into the electrolyte. A totally organic-based rechargeable cell was fabricated using PTAm and poly(N-4,4′-bipyridinium-N-decamethylene dibromide) as the cathode and the anode, respectively, and the aqueous electrolyte of NaBF 4. The cell gave a plateau voltage at 1.2 V both on charging and discharging and an excellent charging/discharging cyclability of >2000 with high coulombic efficiency of >95%.
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