Chemistry (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany)

Self-Assembled Polymeric Ionic Liquid-Functionalized Cellulose Nano-crystals: Constructing 3D Ion-conducting Channels Within Ionic Liquid-based Composite Polymer Electrolytes.

PMID 28613388


Composite polymeric and ionic liquid (IL) electrolytes are some of the most promising electrolyte systems for safer battery technology. Although much effort has been directed towards enhancing the transport properties of polymer electrolytes (PEs) through nanoscopic modification by incorporating nano-fillers, it is still difficult to construct ideal ion conducting networks. Here, a novel class of three-dimensional self-assembled polymeric ionic liquid (PIL)-functionalized cellulose nano-crystals (CNC) confining ILs in surface-grafted PIL polymer chains, able to form colloidal crystal polymer electrolytes (CCPE), is reported. The high-strength CNC nano-fibers, decorated with PIL polymer chains, can spontaneously form three-dimensional interpenetrating nano-network scaffolds capable of supporting electrolytes with continuously connected ion conducting networks with IL being concentrated in conducting domains. These new CCPE have exceptional ionic conductivities, low activation energies (close to bulk IL electrolyte with dissolved Li salt), high Li