Interfacial growth of free-standing PANI films: toward high-performance all-polymer supercapacitors†
Along with high power capability and energy density, long cycle life is regarded an essential performance requirement for energy storage devices. The rapid capacitance decline of conducting polymer-based electrodes remains a major technical challenge and precludes their practical applications in supercapacitors. In this work, a polyaniline (PANI) network is synthesized via interfacial Buchwald–Hartwig polymerization for the first time, facilitating the construction of covalently connected PANI networks by ligand-promoted C–N bond formation. Particularly, the interfacial synthesis and subsequent gas release from pre-anchored protecting groups allow bottom-up and efficient access to porous cross-linked PANI (PCL-PANI) films that are free-standing and solvent-resistant. Upon assembling into supercapacitors, the PCL-PANI material enables an unprecedent long-term charge–discharge cycling performance (>18 000 times) without clear capacitance loss for an additive-free pseudocapacitive system. In addition, this synthesis affords electrodes entirely consisting of conducting polymers, yielding highly reversible gravimetric capacitance at 435 F gelectrode−1 in a two-electrode system, and a high gravimetric energy of 12.5 W h kgelectrode−1 while delivering an outstanding power density of 16 000 W kgelectrode−1, which is 10-fold higher than those of conventional linear PANI composite supercapacitors. This synthetic approach represents a novel and versatile strategy to generate additive/binder-free and high-performance conducting thin-films for energy storage.