Molecular mobility and cation conduction in polyether-ester-sulfonate copolymer ionomers

Gregory J. Tudryn, Michael V. O'Reilly, Shichen Dou, Daniel R. King, Karen I. Winey, James Runt, Ralph H. Colby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Poly(ethylene oxide) [PEO] ionomers are candidate materials for electrolytes in energy storage devices due to the ability of ether oxygen atoms to solvate cations. Copolyester ionomers are synthesized via condensation of sulfonated phthalates with glycol mixtures of PEO and poly(tetramethylene oxide) [PTMO] to create random copolymer ionomers with nearly identical ion content and systematically varying solvation ability. Variation of the PEO/PTMO composition leads to changes in T g, dielectric constant and ionic aggregation; each with consequences for ion transport. Dielectric spectroscopy is used to determine number density of conducting ions, their mobility, and extent of aggregation. Conductivity and mobility display Vogel temperature dependence and increase with PEO content; despite the lower T g of PTMO. Conducting ion densities show Arrhenius temperature dependence and are nearly identical for all copolymer ionomers that contain PEO. SAXS confirms the extent of aggregation, corroborates the temperature response from dielectric measurements, and reveals microphase separation into a PTMO-rich microphase and a PEO-rich microphase that contains the majority of the ions. The trade-off between ion-solvation and low T g in this study provides fundamental understanding of ionic aggregation and ion transport in polymer single-ion conductors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3962-3973
Number of pages12
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 8 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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