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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Structure and Thermodynamics of Hybrid Organic-Inorganic Diblock Copolymers with Salt

  • Author(s): Sethi, GK;
  • Jung, HY;
  • Loo, WS;
  • Sawhney, S;
  • Park, MJ;
  • Balsara, NP;
  • Villaluenga, I
  • et al.

We examine the phase behavior of a hybrid organic-inorganic diblock copolymer/salt mixtures. The experimental system comprises poly(ethylene oxide)-block-polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (PEO-POSS) mixed with a lithium bis(trifluoromethane sulfonyl) imide (LiTFSI) salt. Although the diblock copolymers without salt exhibit a classical order-to-disorder transition behavior with increasing temperature, the PEO-POSS/salt mixtures exhibit disorder-to-order transitions with increasing temperature. The analysis of a small-angle X-ray scattering data from the disordered state using Leibler's random phase approximation enables the determination of an effective Flory-Huggins interaction parameter, χ eff , for the electrolytes. Unlike conventional systems, χ eff increases with increasing temperature. A simple expression is proposed to describe the dependence of χ eff on temperature and salt concentration. This enables the calculation of the segregation strength, χ eff N, for both ordered and disordered electrolytes. The composition of the electrolytes is quantified by f EO/LiTFSI , the volume fraction of the salt-containing poly(ethylene oxide)-rich phase. The morphology of electrolytes is presented on a χ eff N versus f EO/LiTFSI phase diagram. Over the values of f EO/LiTFSI studied (0.61-0.91), only two ordered phases were found: lamellae and co-existing lamellae/hexagonally packed cylinders.

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