Effect of Polymer Polarity on Ion Transport: A Competition between Ion Aggregation and Polymer Segmental Dynamics

BK Wheatle and NA Lynd and V Ganesan, ACS MACRO LETTERS, 7, 1149-1154 (2018).

DOI: 10.1021/acsmacrolett.8b00594

In this work, we use computer simulations to demonstrate that there may be limits to which polymer polarity alone can be used to influence the ionic conductivity of salt-doped polymer electrolytes. Specifically, we use coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations to probe the effect of the polarity of the polymer electrolyte upon ion mobilities and conductivities of dissolved salts. At low polymer polarities, increasing the polymer dielectric constant reduces ionic aggregation and the resultant correlated ionic motion, and increases the ionic conductivity. At higher polymer polarities, polymer-polymer and polymer ion interactions slows polymer segmental dynamics, leading to a reduction in the conductivity of the electrolyte. As a consequence, ionic conductivity achieves an optimum at an intermediate polymer polarity.

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