Effect of the polyethyleneimine-cobalt complex on reduction current of oxygen

Baoqing Shentu*, Zhixue Weng, Hiroyuki Nishide

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The reversible oxygen-binding properties of the polyethyleneimine-cobalt (PEI-Co) complex and the effect of the PEI-Co complex on the reduction current of oxygen were studied. The color of the PEI-Co complex in the electrolyte solution changed on exposure to oxygen atmosphere, which was monitored by UV-visible absorption spectrometry. The UV-visible absorption spectra of the PEI-Co complex displayed a new adsorption band at 310 nm, with an isosbestic point at 280 nm. The spectral change was attributed to the reversible oxygen-adduct formation of the PEI-Co complex even in the electrolyte solution. The oxygen-binding equilibrium curve of the PEI-Co complex obeyed a Langmuir isotherm, to give the high oxygen-binding affinity (p50 = 0.667 kPa). And the apparent dissociation rate constant of oxygen from the PEI-Co complex (kd = 1.1 × 105 s-1) was also high. The aqueous solution of the PEI-Co complex that had rapid and reversible oxygen-binding properties functioned as an oxygen-enriching medium for oxygen electrode to enhance the diffusion-controlled current for the oxygen reduction. Based on the rapid release of oxygen from the PEI-Co complex, a high current was obtained for the reduction of oxygen in the presence of the PEI-Co complex, and the current increased with the increase of the concentration of the PEI-Co complex and the oxygen concentration in the atmosphere. The reduction current reached a saturated value near [ethyleneimine unit]/[Co] = 5, which suggested the structure of a six-coordinate μ-dioxo dinuclear complex [N 5CoIII-O2-CoIIIN5]. A new type of oxygen-diffusion electrode for metal/air batteries and fuel cells is proposed using the oxygen-enriching material immobilized at the electrode surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)859-863
Number of pages5
JournalActa Polymerica Sinica
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Dec


  • Oxygen electrode
  • Polyethyleneimine-cobalt complex
  • Reduction current
  • Reversible oxygen-binding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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