Robust Polymer Electrolyte Membranes with High Ambient-Temperature Lithium-Ion Conductivity via Polymerization-Induced Microphase Separation

Sujay A. Chopade, Jesus G. Au, Ziang Li, Peter W. Schmidt, Marc A. Hillmyer, Timothy P. Lodge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Mechanically robust polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs) exhibiting high ionic conductivity at ambient temperature are a prerequisite for next-generation electrochemical devices. We utilized a polymerization-induced microphase separation (PIMS) strategy to prepare nanostructured materials comprising continuous conducting nanochannels intertwined with a mechanically and thermally robust cross-linked polymeric framework. Addition of succinonitrile (SN) rendered the poly(ethylene oxide)/lithium (Li) salt conducting domains completely amorphous, resulting in outstanding conductivities (∼0.35 mS/cm) at 30 °C. Concurrently, a densely cross-linked polystyrene framework provided mechanical robustness (modulus E′ ≈ 0.3 GPa at 30 °C) to the hybrid material. This work highlights a facile, single-pot strategy involving a homogeneous liquid reaction precursor that yields a high-performance ion-conducting membrane attractive for lithium-battery applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14561-14565
Number of pages5
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number17
StatePublished - May 3 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (Awards DMR-1609459 (MAH), DMR-1206459 (TPL), and DMR-1420013, MRSEC REU (JGA). SAXS data were obtained at the Advanced Photon Source (APS), Sector 5 (DuPont-Northwestern-Dow Collaborative Access Team, DND-CAT). DND-CAT is supported by The Dow Chemical Company, E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., and Northwestern University. Use of the APS, an Office of Science User Facility operated for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science by Argonne National Laboratory, was supported by the U.S. DOE under contract no. DE-AC02-06CH11357. Portions of this work were carried out in the Characterization Facility, University of Minnesota which receives partial support from NSF through the MRSEC program. The authors thank Prof.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Chemical Society.


  • bicontinuous morphology
  • lithium-ion conduction
  • polymer electrolyte membranes
  • polymerization-induced microphase separation
  • succinonitrile

MRSEC Support

  • Partial

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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