Insulating and electroinactive polypyrrole (PPy(NaOH)) film can be synthesized by electropolymerization from an NAOH aqueous solution containing pyrrole at a highly positive potential. The synthesis of this electroinactive PPy(NaOH) was investigated using in situ UV and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and was compared with the irreversible oxidation ("overoxidation") of electroactive PPy under a highly positive potential. Overoxidation made the PPy inactive. However, the formation of PPy (NaOH) started above 0.5 V vs. Ag/AgCl, and the "overoxidation" began simultaneously in the polymerizing solution. Overoxidation with nucleophilic hydroxide ions caused a structural change in the PPy molecule, which destroyed the original π-conjugated system.
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