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Persistent URL http://purl.org/net/epubs/work/3883
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Record Id 3883
Title Structural investigations of polymer electrolyte PPO-LiClO4 using diffraction experiments and reverse Monte Carlo simulation
Abstract The structure of an amorphous polymer electrolyte, poly(propylene oxide) (PPO) complexed with LiClO4, has been studied using reverse Monte Carlo (RMC) simulations. The simulations require no force field but are based on experimental data only, in this case from x-ray and neutron diffraction experiments. Excellent agreement between the experimental data and the structures resulting from the RMC simulation is obtained. Samples with ether-oxygen to lithium concentrations (molar ratios) O:Li = 16:1 and 5:1 were studied and compared to results of pure PPO from a previous study. We focus on the effects of the solvated salt on the structure of the polymer matrix, the spatial distribution of ions, and the correlations between the anions and the polymer chains. Analyzing the structures produced in the simulations, we find that for a concentration 16:1, the interchain distance is approximately the same as in pure PPO but more well defined. For a concentration 5:1, we find a larger and less well-defined interchain distance compared to the 16:1 concentration. This signifies that at the 16:1 salt concentration, there is enough free volume in the polymer host to accommodate the ions, and that the solvation of salt induces ordering of the polymer matrix. At the higher salt concentration 5:1, the polymer network must expand and become less ordered to host the ions. We also note, in accordance with previous studies, that the solvation of salt changes the conformation of the polymer chain towards more gauche states. The simulations furthermore reveal marked correlations between the polymer chains and the anions, which we suggest arise predominantly from an interaction mediated via cations, which can simultaneously coordinate both ether oxygens in the polymer chains and anions. Interanionic distances at 5 Å, which are consistent with two or more anions being coordinated around the same cation, are also observed. On a larger scale, the RMC structure of PPO-LiClO4 16:1 clearly indicates the presence of salt-rich and salt-depleted domains having a length scale of <20 Å. In view of such a heterogeneous structure of PPO-LiClO4 16:1, it is plausible that the increased ordering of the polymer matrix is due to rather well-defined structural arrangements within the salt-rich domains, and that the characteristic interchain distance in the salt-rich domains is similar to that of the pure polymer
Keywords Materials , ISIS 2005
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Language English (EN)
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Journal Article J Phys Chem 121 (2004): 12026-12037. doi:10.1063/1.1815295 2004
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