Original Article

Subject Category: Functional Polymers

Polymer Journal (2012) 44, 264–268; doi:10.1038/pj.2011.120; published online 7 December 2011

Electrospinning of radical polymers: redox-active fibrous membrane formation

Takeo Suga1,2, Matthew T Hunley3, Timothy E Long3 and Hiroyuki Nishide1

  1. 1Department of Applied Chemistry, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan
  2. 2Research Institute for Science and Engineering, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan
  3. 3Department of Chemistry and Macromolecules and Interfaces Institute, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA

Correspondence: Professor H Nishide, Department of Applied Chemistry, Waseda University, Shinjuku, Tokyo 169-8555, Japan. E-mail: nishide@waseda.jp; Professor TE Long, Department of Chemistry and Macromolecules and Interfaces Institute, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA. E-mail: telong@vt.edu

Received 24 August 2011; Revised 6 October 2011; Accepted 10 October 2011
Advance online publication 7 December 2011

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Abstract

Redox-active but highly durable nitroxide radicals, that is, 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidinyl-4-oxy (TEMPO), enabled direct electrospinning of radical-containing polymers without additional processing aids (such as polymer blends, post-doping, or protection/deprotection) and produced redox-active fibrous membranes with high surface area. The solution rheological behavior of the TEMPO-substituted polymethacrylate was similar to the neutral conventional polymers, and electrospinning of the radical polymers yielded submicrometer-scaled fibrous membranes without any defects on the radical moiety. The obtained membrane exhibited stable redox response, leading to redox catalysts or electrode-active materials toward organic-based flexible rechargeable battery.

Keywords:

electrospinning; functional polymers; radical; redox