Autoxidation of polythiophene tethered to carbon cloth boosts its electrocatalytic activity towards durable water oxidation

Shi Nan Zhang, Zhong Hua Xue, Xiu Lin, Yun Xiao Lin, Hui Su, Shin Ichi Hirano, Xin Hao Li*, Jie Sheng Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Cheap polymers are potential electrode materials for water splitting reactions due to their excellent mechanical properties and abundance. Much effort has thus been spent on exploring highly stable polymer electrodes especially for water oxidation, resulting in very little scope of polymers as potential candidates. Here, we use polythiophene with sulfur-based heterocycles to demonstrate the role of redox groups of unstable polymers in boosting both of its activity and stability as a polymer electrode for water oxidation. We found that the autoxidation of sulfur atoms in polythiophene tethered to the surface of carbon cloth greatly enhances the oxygen evolution reaction activity of the polymer carbon backbone by modifying its electronic structure, which isn't involved in the oxidation process and possible over oxidation, clarifying the pivotal role played by the chaperone redox groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19793-19798
Number of pages6
Issue number38
StatePublished - Oct 14 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21722103, 21931005, 21720102002 and 21673140), Shanghai Science and Technology Committee (19JC1412600), SJTU-MPI partner group and Center of Hydrogen Science, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Royal Society of Chemistry 2020.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Materials Science


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