Effect of plasticizers (EC or PC) on the ionic conductivity and thermal properties of the (PEO)(9)LiTf: Al2O3 nanocomposite polymer electrolyte system
Journal article, 2008
A new plasticized nanocomposite polymer electrolyte based on poly (ethylene oxide) (PEO)-LiTf dispersed with ceramic filler (Al2O3) and plasticized with propylene carbonate (PC), ethylene carbonate (EC), and a mixture of EC and PC (EC+PC) have been studied for their ionic conductivity and thermal properties. The incorporation of plasticizers alone will yield polymer electrolytes with enhanced conductivity but with poor mechanical properties. However, mechanical properties can be improved by incorporating ceramic fillers to the plasticized system. Nanocomposite solid polymer electrolyte films (200-600 mu m) were prepared by common solvent-casting method. In present work, we have shown the ionic conductivity can be substantially enhanced by using the combined effect of the plasticizers as well as the inert filler. It was revealed that the incorporating 15 wt.% Al2O3 filler in to PEO: LiTf polymer electrolyte significantly enhanced the ionic conductivity [sigma(RT) (max)= 7.8 x 10(-6) S cm(-1)]. It was interesting to observe that the addition of PC, EC, and mixture of EC and PC to the PEO: LiTf: 15 wt.% Al2O3 CPE showed further conductivity enhancement. The conductivity enhancement with EC is higher than PC. However, mixture of plasticizer (EC+PC) showed maximum conductivity enhancement in the temperature range interest, giving the value [sigma(RT) (max)= 1.2 x 10(-4) S cm(-1)]. It is suggested that the addition of PC, EC, or a mixture of EC and PC leads to a lowering of glass transition temperature and increasing the amorphous phase of PEO and the fraction of PEO-Li+ complex, corresponding to conductivity enhancement. Al2O3 filler would contribute to conductivity enhancement by transient hydrogen bonding of migrating ionic species with O-OH groups at the filler grain surface. The differential scanning calorimetry thermograms points towards the decrease of T-g, crystallite melting temperature, and melting enthalpy of PEO: LiTf: Al2O3 CPE after introducing plasticizers. The reduction of crystallinity and the increase in the amorphous phase content of the electrolyte, caused by the filler, also contributes to the observed conductivity enhancement.