Ion gels by self-assembly of a triblock copolymer in an ionic liquid

Yiyong He, Paul G. Boswell, Philippe Bühlmann, Timothy P. Lodge

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We report a new way of developing ion gels through the self-assembly of a triblock copolymer in a room-temperature ionic liquid. Transparent ion gels were achieved by gelation of a poly(styrene-block-ethylene oxide-block-styrene) (SOS) triblock copolymer in 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium hexafluorophosphate ([BMIM]-[PF6]) with as low as 5 wt % SOS triblock copolymer. The gelation behavior, ionic conductivity, rheological properties, and microstructure of the ion gels were investigated. The ionic conductivity of the ion gels is only modestly affected by the triblock copolymer network. Its temperature dependence nearly tracks that of the bulk ionic liquid viscosity. The ion gels are thermally stable up to at least 100°C and possess significant mechanical strength. The results presented here suggest that triblock copolymer gelation is a promising way to develop highly conductive ion gels and provides many advantages in terms of variety and processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4645-4652
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number18
StatePublished - May 10 2007


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