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J Phys Chem B. 2014 May 15;118(19):5135-43. doi: 10.1021/jp500826c. Epub 2014 May 6.

The effect of low-molecular-weight poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) plasticizers on the transport properties of lithium fluorosulfonimide ionic melt electrolytes.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Clemson University , Clemson, South Carolina 29634, United States.


The influence of low-molecular-weight poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG, Mw ≈ 550 Da) plasticizers on the rheology and ion-transport properties of fluorosulfonimide-based polyether ionic melt (IM) electrolytes has been investigated experimentally and via molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Addition of PEG plasticizer to samples of IM electrolytes caused a decrease in electrolyte viscosity coupled to an increase in ionic conductivity. MD simulations revealed that addition of plasticizer increased self-diffusion coefficients for both cations and anions with the plasticizer being the fastest diffusing species. Application of a VTF model to fit variable-temperature conductivity and fluidity data shows that plasticization decreases the apparent activation energy (Ea) and pre-exponential factor A for ion transport and also for viscous flow. Increased ionic conductivity with plasticization is thought to reflect a combination of factors including lower viscosity and faster polyether chain segmental dynamics in the electrolyte, coupled with a change in the ion transport mechanism to favor ion solvation and transport by polyethers derived from the plasticizer. Current interrupt experiments with Li/electrolyte/Li cells revealed evidence for salt concentration polarization in electrolytes containing large amounts of plasticizer but not in electrolytes without added plasticizer.

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