Carbon Nanotube Web with Carboxylated Polythiophene "assist" for High-Performance Battery Electrodes

Yo Han Kwon, Jung Jin Park, Lisa M. Housel, Krysten Minnici, Guoyan Zhang, Sujin R. Lee, Seung Woo Lee, Zhongming Chen, Suguru Noda, Esther S. Takeuchi, Kenneth J. Takeuchi, Amy C. Marschilok*, Elsa Reichmanis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


A carbon nanotube (CNT) web electrode comprising magnetite spheres and few-walled carbon nanotubes (FWNTs) linked by the carboxylated conjugated polymer, poly[3-(potassium-4-butanoate) thiophene] (PPBT), was designed to demonstrate benefits derived from the rational consideration of electron/ion transport coupled with the surface chemistry of the electrode materials components. To maximize transport properties, the approach introduces monodispersed spherical Fe3O4 (sFe3O4) for uniform Li+ diffusion and a FWNT web electrode frame that affords characteristics of long-ranged electronic pathways and porous networks. The sFe3O4 particles were used as a model high-capacity energy active material, owing to their well-defined chemistry with surface hydroxyl (-OH) functionalities that provide for facile detection of molecular interactions. PPBT, having a π-conjugated backbone and alkyl side chains substituted with carboxylate moieties, interacted with the FWNT π-electron-rich and hydroxylated sFe3O4 surfaces, which enabled the formation of effective electrical bridges between the respective components, contributing to efficient electron transport and electrode stability. To further induce interactions between PPBT and the metal hydroxide surface, polyethylene glycol was coated onto the sFe3O4 particles, allowing for facile materials dispersion and connectivity. Additionally, the introduction of carbon particles into the web electrode minimized sFe3O4 aggregation and afforded more porous FWNT networks. As a consequence, the design of composite electrodes with rigorous consideration of specific molecular interactions induced by the surface chemistries favorably influenced electrochemical kinetics and electrode resistance, which afforded high-performance electrodes for battery applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3126-3139
Number of pages14
JournalACS Nano
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr 24


  • FWNT web electrode
  • Fe-carboxylate bond
  • PEG coating
  • carbon particle
  • monodispersed spherical iron oxide
  • poly[3-(potassium-4-butanoate) thiophene] (PPBT)
  • surface chemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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