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Nat Mater. 2004 Jul;3(7):476-81. Epub 2004 Jun 13.

The plastic-crystalline phase of succinonitrile as a universal matrix for solid-state ionic conductors.

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  • 1International Laboratory on Electro-Active Materials, Department of Chemistry, University of Montreal, Montreal H3C 3J7, Canada.


Solid ionic conductors are actively sought for their potential application in electrochemical devices, particularly lithium batteries. We have found high ionic conductivity for a large variety of salts dissolved in the highly polar medium based on the plastic-crystal form of succinonitrile (N[triple bond]C[bond]CH(2)[bond]CH(2)[bond]C[triple bond]N). Its high diffusivity, plasticity and solvating power allowed the preparation of a large number of materials with high ionic conductivity, reaching values of 3 mS cm(-1) at 25 degrees C (two orders of magnitude above polymers). Their ease of preparation and processing allowed us to study the influence of the solute on ionic conduction within this medium. Comparisons revealed a dichotomy between plastic crystals and conventional polymer media. The usefulness of these new, easily processed electrolytes was asserted in electrochemical tests with lithium intercalation electrodes.

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