Effect of thermal history and characterization of plasticized, composite polymer electrolyte based on PEO and tetrapropylammonium iodide salt (Pr4N+I-).
Journal article, 2009
The search for anionic conductors based on solid polymer electrolytes is important for the development of photo-electrochemical (PEC) solar cells due to their many favourable chemical and physical properties. Although solid polymer electrolytes have been extensively studied as cation, mainly lithium ion, conductors for applications in secondary batteries, their use as anionic conductors have not been studied in greater detail. In a previous paper we reported the application of a PEO based iodide ion conducting electrolyte in a PEC solar cell. This electrolyte had the composition PEO: Pr4N+I- = 9:1 with 50 wt.% ethylene carbonate (EC). In this work we have studied the effect of incorporating alumina filler on the properties of this electrolyte. The investigation was extended to electrical and dielectric measurements including high frequency impedance spectroscopy and thermal analysis.
In the DSC themograms two endothermic peaks have been observed on heating, one of these peaks is attributed with the melting of the PEO crystallites, while the other peak with a melting temperature similar to 30 degrees C is attributed to the melting of the EC rich phase. The melting temperature of both these peaks shows a marked variation with alumina content in the electrolyte. The temperature dependence of the conductivity shows that there is an abrupt conductivity increase in the first heating run evidently due to the melting of the EC rich phase. High conductivity values are retained at lower temperatures in the second heating. Conductivity isotherms show the existence of two maxima, one at -5% Al2O3 content and the other at similar to 15%. The occurrence of these two maxima has been explained in terms of the interactions caused by alumina grains, the crystallinity and melting of the PEO rich phase. As seen from latent heat of melting, the crystallinity of the electrolyte has reduced considerably during the first heating run. In contrast to the conductivity enhancement caused by ceramic fillers in PEO-based cation containing electrolytes, no conductivity enhancement has been observed in the present PEO based anionic conducting materials by adding alumina except at low temperatures. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
PEC solar cells