Effect of Tethering Anions in Block Copolymer Electrolytes via Molecular Dynamics Simulations

MD Fan and KH Shen and LM Hall, MACROMOLECULES, 55, 7945-7955 (2022).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.2c01309

Ion-containing block copolymers (BCPs) are promising solid-state electrolytes as they can combine ion conduction and mechanical robustness via multiple microphases. However, salt-doped BCPs can have low ion conduction and transference number. One strategy to increase transference number is to tether anions to the polymer backbone (creating a single-ion conductor), though this may impact cation mobility. Leveraging coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations, we compare the effects of ion concentration and polymer dielectric constant on BCPs with and without bonding anions to the chain (without changing any other chemical properties). We find that single-ion BCPs have higher cation conductivity than analogous saltdoped BCPs, especially at moderate ion concentrations. We also compare several structural features of these systems; notably, tethering anions causes the ions to spread more evenly throughout the conducting phase, which is related to improved cation conduction.

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