Electrochemically Active Polymers for Electrochemical Energy Storage: Opportunities and Challenges.
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Polymers have a particularly important place in electrochemical energy storage (EES), not just as the electrolyte, as has been a large focus for solid-state batteries, but also as the electrode. This Viewpoint will introduce how electrochemically active polymers (EAPs) are utilized in electrochemical energy storage with an emphasis on battery cathodes. Recent advances in high capacity EAPs and selected challenges (high voltage stability and ion transport) are presented. Should these needs be met, the resulting electrode would bear a high capacity, energy, power, and cycle life. The low cost, potential application in flexible EES, and synthetic versatility of EAPs offer many unique aspects relative to conventional metal oxides. In composites with metal oxides, EAPs can be used as a means to boost ionic and electronic conductivity. Promising examples regarding high capacity polymeric sulfur electrodes, electrochemically stable polyaniline/polyacid complexes, porous polyaniline/V2O5 electrodes, and hydrogel-based electrodes are highlighted.