Aggregation in Polymer/Electrolyte Blends

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Dec 4, 2013 (3 years and 6 months ago)

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Ion
-
containing

polymers

and

electrolyte/polymer

blends

have

proved

to

be

spectacularly

successful

in

a

number

of

applications,

including

synthetic

membranes,

imaging

systems,

magnetic

recording

media

and

tough

(high

impact

resistant)

materials
.

An

understanding

of

the

properties

of

these

materials

depends

on

a

molecular

level

knowledge

of

the

types

of

ionic

structures

present
.

Ionic

conductivity,

for

example,

depends

on

both

the

number

of

charge

carriers

and

their

mobility,

which

in

turn

depends

on

complex

relationships

between

the

types

of

ionic

groups

present

(e
.
g
.
,

single

or

“free”

ions,

triplets
.

etc
.
),

how

they

are

coordinated

to

polymer

functional

groups

and

how

ion

motion

is

coupled

to

chain

dynamics
.

Infrared

spectroscopy

is

very

sensitive

to

the

state

of

ion

aggregation

in

well

chosen

systems
.

For

example,

bands

due

to

free

ions,

ion

pairs

and

aggregated

ions

can

be

identified

in

the

spectra

of

materials

containing

the

triflate

group,

[CF
3
SO
3
]

.

In

recent

work

we

have

studied

blends

of

polyethylene

glycol

with

various

triflate

containing

electrolytes,

including

simple

salts

and

ionic

liquids
.

In

collaboration

with

Professor

Jim

Runt

at

Penn

State,

who

is

making

measurements

using

dielectric

spectroscopy,

we

are

examining

the

relationship

between

the

fraction

of

free

ions,

ion

mobility

and

chain

segment

mobility
.

Studies of Ionic Interactions and States of
Aggregation in Polymer/Electrolyte Blends

Paul C. Painter, Pennsylvania State Univ University Park, DMR 0901180

Infrared

spectra

of

triflate

containing

polymer/electrolyte

mixtures

showing

bands

due

to

free

ions

and

ion

pairs
.

Broader Impacts


New Technology and
Education Initiatives

Paul C. Painter, Pennsylvania State Univ University Park, DMR 0901180


There

have

been

a

number

of

broader

impacts

of

this

research
.

In

the

last

year

these

have

included
:



The

development

of

a

new

technology

to

separate

oil

from

sand
.


The

involvement

of

undergraduates

in

the

research

and

the

training

of

students

across

a

broad

range

of

techniques

and

disciplines
.



The

development

of

an

on
-
line

polymer

textbook


A

serendipitous

result

of

our

studies

of

interactions

between

polymers,

minerals

and

ionic

liquids

has

been

the

development

of

a

process

to

separate

oil,

tar

or

bitumen

from

sand
.

The

separation

occurs

at

room

temperature

and

does

not

result

in

the

generation

of

waste

process

water,

unlike

currently

used

processes

which

are

energy

intensive
.

A

patent

has

been

applied

for

as

a

result

of

this

research
.

Undergraduate

students

were

heavily

involved

in

the

work,

which

required

an

immersion

in

the

unusual

properties

of

a

relatively

new

class

of

solvents



ionic

liquids
.

Other

broad

impacts

includes

a

new

effort

to

use

the

educational

materials

(animations,

etc
.
)

authored

with

previous

NSF

support
.

These

are

being

used

to

construct

an

on
-
line

textbook

using

open
-
source

software

(Drupal)
.

Textbooks

are

becoming

very

expensive

and

the

goal

of

this

effort

is

to

make

available

learning

material

that

can

be

viewed

on
-
line

using

tablet

computers

and

similar

devices
.

The

separation

of

bitumen

from

tar

sands

using

an

ionic

liquid
.

Three

phases

are

formed

and

separate

readily

under

the

action

of

gravity
.

The

hydrocarbon

layer

at

the

top

is

free

of

ionic

liquid

and

residual

ionic

liquid

can

be

washed

from

the

sand

with

small

amounts

of

water,

then

recycled

through

a

closed

system
.

A

patent

application

has

been

filed
.