Effect of grain size on the ionic conductivity of a block copolymer electrolyte

Mahati Chintapalli, X. Chelsea Chen, Jacob L. Thelen, Alexander A. Teran, Xin Wang, Bruce A. Garetz, Nitash P. Balsara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A systematic study of the dependence of ionic conductivity on the grain size of a lamellar block copolymer electrolyte was performed. A freeze-dried mixture of poly(styrene)-block-poly(ethylene oxide) and lithium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide salt was heated in steps from 29 to 116 °C and then cooled back to 29 °C with an annealing time ranging from 30 to 60 min at each temperature. Grain structure and ionic conductivity during these steps were quantified by in situ small-angle X-ray scattering and ac impedance spectroscopy, respectively. Conductivity depends both on grain structure and temperature. A normalization scheme to decouple the dependence of conductivity on temperature and grain structure is described. Ionic conductivity at a given temperature was found to decrease by a factor of 5.2 ± 0.9 as the SAXS measure of grain size increased from 13 to 88 nm. The fact that in the system studied, large, well-formed lamellar grains are less conducting than poorly defined, small grains suggests a new approach for optimizing the transport properties of block copolymer electrolytes. Further work is necessary to confirm the generality of this finding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5424-5431
Number of pages8
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 12 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of grain size on the ionic conductivity of a block copolymer electrolyte'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this