A Polyimide Nanolayer as a Metal-Free and Durable Organic Electrode Toward Highly Efficient Oxygen Evolution

Yun Xiao Lin, Wei Jie Feng, Jun Jun Zhang, Zhong Hua Xue, Tian Jian Zhao, Hui Su, Shin Ichi Hirano, Xin Hao Li*, Jie Sheng Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The exploitation of metal-free organic polymers as electrodes for water splitting reactions is limited by their presumably low activity and poor stability, especially for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) under more critical conditions. Now, the thickness of a cheap and robust polymer, poly(p-phenylene pyromellitimide) (PPPI) was rationally engineered by an in situ polymerization method to make the metal-free polymer available for the first time as flexible, tailorable, efficient, and ultra-stable electrodes for water oxidation over a wide pH range. The PPPI electrode with an optimized thickness of about 200 nm provided a current density of 32.8 mA cm−2 at an overpotential of 510 mV in 0.1 mol L−1 KOH, which is even higher than that (31.5 mA cm−2) of commercial IrO2 OER catalyst. The PPPI electrodes are scalable and stable, maintaining 92 % of its activity after a 48-h chronoamperometric stability test.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12563-12566
Number of pages4
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number38
StatePublished - Sep 17 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21722103, 21720102002, and 21673140), the Shanghai Basic Research Program (16JC1401600), the SJTU‐MPI partner group, the Shanghai Eastern Scholar Program, and the Shanghai Rising‐Star Program (16QA1402100).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • energy transducers
  • metal-free electrocatalysts
  • oxygen evolution reaction
  • polymer electrodes
  • water splitting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)


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