The electrochemical characterization of brush polymer ion gels containing embedded small-molecule redox-active species is reported. Gels comprising PS-PEO-PS triblock brush polymer, 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide (BMIm-TFSI), and some combination of ferrocene (Fc), cobaltocenium (CoCp2+), and Re(bpy)(CO)3Cl (1) exhibit diffusion-controlled redox processes with diffusion coefficients approximately one-fifth of those observed in neat BMIm-TFSI. Notably, 1 dissolves homogeneously in the interpenetrating matrix domain of the ion gel and displays electrocatalytic CO2 reduction to CO in the gel. The catalytic wave exhibits a positive shift versus Fc+/0 compared with analogous nonaqueous solvents with a reduction potential 450 mV positive of onset and 90% Faradaic efficiency for CO production. These materials provide a promising and alternative approach to immobilized electrocatalysis, creating numerous opportunities for application in solid-state devices.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the NSF CCI Solar Fuels Program (CHE-1305124). Additional support was provided by King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals. C.M.B. thanks the Dreyfus Foundation for Environmental Postdoc Fellowship EP- 13-142. A.B.C. thanks the U.S. Department of Defense for support through the NDSEG Fellowship
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