Arnold C. Ott Lectureship in Chemistry: Electrochemical Trickery: Turning Organic Macrocycles into Conductive Polymers and Supercapacitors

Dr. Tom Guarr

Date and Time

Friday, April 14, 2023 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM


Kirkhoff Center, Pere Marquette, RM 2204


Although the discovery of polyaniline dates back more than 150 years, the recognition of its intriguing electrical properties required another century, and culminated with the award of a Nobel Prize to Prof. Alan MacDiarmid in 2000.  Curiosity regarding the scope of this phenomenon led us to try the admittedly naïve idea of attempting to generate new conductive polymers simply by electrochemical oxidation of large organic macrocycles incorporating amine substituents.  Surprisingly, it actually worked, and allowed us to fabricate a plethora of materials with interesting and potentially useful features.

While the electrical conductivity of these metallophthalocyanine-based polymers is generally much lower than that of polyaniline itself, thin films are sufficiently conductive for a number of functions.  For example, they are remarkably good catalysts for many sluggish organic redox processes, accelerating rates of electron transfer by up to 13 orders of magnitude.  They are also electrochromic, exhibiting rapid and reversible color changes upon electrochemical reduction.  Recently, we have shown that such materials are attractive candidates for organic-based supercapacitors, showing high capacitance, fast response, and excellent durability.  The preparation of these materials, along with experimental results for each of these applications, will be discussed by Dr. Tom Guarr of the MSU Bioeconomy Institute.

This event has been tagged as academic, chemistry, and lecture.


For more information, please call 616-331-8927.

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Page last modified March 16, 2023