Newly De­vel­oped Elec­tropoly­mer­ized Cat­a­lysts

Chemical Industry Digest - - New Developments -

Agroup of Chi­nese re­searchers re­cently pro­vided the first de­tailed char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of the elec­tro­chem­i­cal prop­er­ties of polyani­line and polyas­par­tic acid (PASP) thin films. Re­ports from AIP Ad­vances says that, the team used a wide range of tests to char­ac­ter­ize the poly­mers, es­pe­cially their ca­pac­ity for cat­alyz­ing the ox­i­da­tion of pop­u­larly used ma­te­ri­als, hy­dro­quinone and cat­e­chol. This new pa­per marks one of the first pair­ings of stan­dard elec­tro­chem­i­cal tests with nu­clear mag­netic res­o­nance (NMR) anal­y­sis as these ma­te­ri­als can be eas­ily pre­pared in an elec­tric field and are cost-ef­fec­tive and en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly

Here re­duc­ing the ox­i­da­tion po­ten­tial was the key for find­ing fur­ther uses for two ma­te­ri­als used ex­ten­sively as raw ma­te­ri­als and syn­thetic in­ter­me­di­ates in phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, hy­dro­quinone and cat­e­chol.

To bet­ter un­der­stand these ma­te­ri­als, the re­searchers tested how well PASP and polyani­line were able to ox­i­dize hy­dro­quinone and cat­e­chol us­ing sev­eral stan­dard elec­tro­chem­i­cal tech­niques, in­clud­ing at­ten­u­ated to­tal re­flec­tion Fournier trans­form in­frared spec­tropho­tom­e­try, cyclic voltamme- try and elec­tro­chem­i­cal im­ped­ance spec­troscopy. Us­ing pro­ton-based NMR, they mon­i­tored the progress of each re­ac­tion by di­rectly mea­sur­ing how quickly re­ac­tants were used and prod­ucts were cre­ated.

The group dis­cov­ered that the poly­mer-mod­i­fied elec­trodes both im­proved con­duc­tiv­ity. PASP's cat­alytic ac­tiv­ity of both hy­dro­quinone and cat­e­chol was found to out­pace that of polyani­line by a fac­tor of two. Later NMR stud­ies con­firmed that elec­tri­cally in­duced molec­u­lar trans­for­ma­tions al­lowed PASP to serve as a bet­ter cat­a­lyst.

The find­ings led the re­searchers to pos­tu­late that polyas­par­tic acid elec­tropoly­mer­ized thin films might be more suit­able for use as cat­a­lysts over polyani­line in many sit­u­a­tions.

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