A new design for conjugation and crosslinking combined with a conjugated polymer and its application for high capacity Li-ion battery are demonstrated. Polyfluorene (PF), poly(phenylene) (PP), with lateral substituents, namely carboxylic acids, as a potential building block for conjugation was synthesized and characterized. The synthesis was achieved through Suzuki polycondensation reaction in the presence of Pd(PPh3)(4) catalyst by using dibromo benzoic acid in conjunction with dioctylfluorene-diboronic acid bis(1,3-propanediol) ester. Thermal chemical cross-linking between carboxylic acid in the polymer backbone and free hydroxyl groups in poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) has been performed in the presence of Si. This approach enables a polymer binder with multi-functionality providing a high electronic conductivity and good cycling stability. Overall, we report on a Si-anode with capacity of 1932 mAh/g at C/3, demonstrating the improvement of the electrode using gel polymer binder. (C) 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.