Document Type


Date of Original Version





This work reports a new method to synthesize polyphenylmethanimine (polyPMI) as a linear or a hyperbranched, conjugated polymer using an aldehyde-imine metathesis reaction. This work details the reaction mechanisms of this polymerization by characterizing a red-shift in its absorption spectrum as polymer conjugation length increases and verifies that this optical shift results from extended π-condensation using density functional theory. This new synthetic approach provides a polymer that can potentially be depolymerized for facile recyclability and is compatible with air- and water-sensitive chemistries. As an example of the utility of this new approach, this work demonstrates that this polymer can be directly grown on silicon nanoparticles to create silicon anodes for lithium-ion batteries with a high degree of electrochemical interfacial passivation. These silicon anodes exhibit Coulombic efficiencies above 99.9% and can accommodate silicon nanoparticle expansion and contraction during lithiation and delithiation as demonstrated by stable reversible capacities for 500 cycles. Finally, this work demonstrates that polyPMI facilitates the formation of a lithium fluoride rich solid electrolyte interphase that remains chemically and mechanically stable after long term cycling.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Advanced Energy Materials





Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.