Title: Facile synthesis of modified Styrene–maleic anhydride/ Zinc oxide polymer nanocomposites for supercapacitor applications

Remya Simon

Stella Maris College, India


Remya Simon has completed her graduation and post graduation from Stella Maris College, Chennai, India. She has then registered for Ph.D under Dr. Mary N.L at the University of Madras, India. She did her M.Sc Internship project “nanotube based chelating polymer” under the guidance of Dr. Beena Mathew at the School of Chemical sciences, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala from April-June 2014. Her M.Sc project titled, “Novel synthesis, characterization and photocatalysis studies of nanoparticles derived from transition metal complexes’’ was carried out under the guidance of Dr. Mary N.L. Stella Maris College Chennai. She was able to publish her work on the same in the ‘International Journal of Recent Scientific Research’. She has two years of teaching experience in BCM College for Women, Kottayam ,Kerala ,India. Currently she is assisting for the nano certificate course held at the Centre for research and science and technology in collaboration with IIT Madras India.


Styrene-maleic anhydride (SMA) is widely used for electrochemical and biological applications because of its high heat resistance and dimensional stability along with good specific reactivity of the anhydride groups. In order to achieve highly stable cycling performance and high capacitance values, –NH2 group is introduced into the polymer matrix by functionalizing it with a diamine moeity. Zinc oxide nanoparticles were prepared by chemical reduction method and loaded at different wt % into the diamine modified Styrene-maleic anhydride (SMA-DDM) polymer matrix. To prepare materials having large surface area is an important aspect for increasing the efficiency of supercapacitors by adding Zinc oxide in higher weight percentages. The surface chemistry of these materials was characterized by Scanning electron microscopy(SEM), Transmission electron microscope (TEM) and Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET). Functional groups and their interactions were studied using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and Ultraviolet–Visible spectrophotometry (UV). The crystal structure of the polymer nanocomposites was determined using Powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) technique .Thermal stability of the composites were evaluated from the Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) results. The composite acts as an electrode material on forming active slurry with activated charcoal (AC) powder and Nafion binder. The prepared polymer nanocomposite electrodes have been electrochemically characterized using cyclic voltammetry (CV) at different scan rates and A.C impedance techniques at various frequency ranges. Charge–discharge (CD) techniques confirmed the cycling stability of the prepared polymer nanocomposites.

Audience take away:

1. This work will help to extrapolate the already existing literature available on the use of Zinc oxide as supercapacitors.
2. Functionalisation of polymers with different moieties to increase its conductivity and electrochemical performance.
3. Green synthesis techniques can be carried out as an extension to this work and a comparison can be drawn with respect to the results obtained.