Polymer electrolytes is the name given to a new range of solid state materials in which ionic salts are dissolved in suitable coordinating high polymers. Research on these materials to date has concentrated on lithium ion and sodium ion containing systems.
For the first time, electrochemical, structural, thermal, optical and conductivity studies on a wide range of divalent and trivalent ion based systems have been brought together to create a clearer picture of the potential of these materials. Conditions have been established for the preparation of anhydrous electrolytes. Amorphous derivatives of polyethylene oxide and linear polyethylene imine were prepared as host polymers which has allowed various practical and theoretical aspects of the ion transport mechanism to be studied. Novel perfluorosulphonimide salt systems were also synthesized and were found to greatly enhance the ionic conductivity through their plasticizing effect. The studies have produced several phase diagrams. Information has been obtained on the variation in ionic species with cation valency, which was previously unknown. A range of applications of these materials is now seen as feasible and preliminary cells have been constructed and are under test.
Polymer electrolytes is the name given to a new range of solid state materials in which ionic salts are dissolved in suitable coordinating high polymers; in many cases, the salt solubility is very high. Research on these materials to date has concentrated on lithium ion- and sodium ion-containing systems. These generally have relatively high ionic conductivities and are being developed as potential electrolytes for all-solid-state high energy batteries. In this programme we propose to study analogous systems based on salts of alkaline earth, transition metal and lanthanide cations.
We anticipate that polymer electrolytes based on such salts will have interesting and useful electrical and optical properties. The particular advantage of these materials from a practical point of view is that, unlike, for example, crystalline solid electrolytes, they may be readily fabricated into useful shapes of forms, such as thin films using established techniques.
EH14 4AS Edinburgh
NE1 7RU Newcastle Upon Tyne