Mono-EndCapped Single-Ion Polymer Electrolytes : Synthesis & Lithium-Ion Transport Properties

Abstract : This thesis presents "End-Capped Single-Ion Polymer Electrolytes" (EC-SIPEs) that are ionically conductive polymers having n repeating ethylene oxide (EO) units and an ionic functional group at one chain terminal. The library of EC-SIPEs presented are based on poly(ethylene oxide) mono methyl ether (mPEOn-OH) having EOn = 8, 10, 20 and 55. The anions of the electrolyte salt pair are covalently bound to the polymer as part of the end-group design. The mobility of the anion is thus limited by the low mobility of the polymer, relative to Li+. These are "Single-Ion" conductors because the majority of ionic charge transferred by Li+ cations, as demonstrated by chronoamperometry.The end-group designs target not only ionic interactions that facilitate "single-ion" conduction of Li+, but also other specific non-covalent interactions such as dipole-dipole, Van der Waals, and π-π stacking. End-groups having naphthalene (naph) and pyrene (pyr) polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) moieties are investigated. The functional end-groups are lithiated sulfonates (-SO3Li, -PhSO3Li), a N-naphyl sulfonamide (-SO2N(Li)Naph), and secondary N-aryl amines (-N(Li)Naph, -N(Li)Pyr). Two end-groups target specific properties: i) a "double salt" end-group has two ionic functions at one chain end, and ii) a zwitterionic EC-SIPE that conducts Li+ cations and TFSI- anions. The doubling of the number of Li+ per end-group does not correlate to an expected improvement in ionic conductivity (σ). This implies that σ is limited by the physicochemical properties of the EC-SIPE and not the Li+ concentration. The zwitterionic EC-SIPE has a high lithium transference number (t+Li= 0.8) that implies decreased mobility of the TFIS- counter-anion relative to Li+. The best overall performance is achieved by mPEOn-N(Li)Pyr (EOn= 10, 20, 55), that has σ > 1.0*10-4 S/cm at T > 40 °C, and reaches 1*10-3 S/cm at 100 °C. It exhibits constant resistivity under galvanostatic cycling (j= 10 μA.cm-2, 10*4h periods, Li|Li cell, 40 °C) and is electrochemically stable in the 0 V-3.7 V vs. Li/Li+ potential range (Li|stainless steel cell, 1.0 mV/s sweep rate, 40 °C).In Chapter I the context of the thesis is discussed through review of state-of-the-art polymer electrolytes for Li-ion batteries. These are divided into two sub-classes: i) Salt-in-Polymer (SiP) and ii) "Single-Ion" polymer electrolytes. The design of polymer electrolytes towards efficient and effective ionic conductivity is emphasized. Special attention is given to concepts for the organisation of bulk morphology for the creation of ion transport pathways that efficiently percolate through the micron length scale separating electrodes of a battery. Finally, the synthetic strategy implemented in this thesis is described.The principle results of the thesis are presented and discussed in Chapter II. A library of EC-SIPEs are characterised in terms of their electrochemical, thermal and specific ion-transport performances. Resistive features appear at high temperature and are expected to result from the aggregation of ionic end-groups. Surprisingly, the σ of EC-SIPEs having EOn= 55 improves by as much as half an order of magnitude with repeated cycling of temperature to above Tm of crystalline PEO (in the +40 °C to +100 °C range). The analysis of EC-SIPEs having different end-groups and PEO chains having EOn= 8, 10, 20, and 55 lead to the proposition of a tentative model for the percolation of ionic pathways through the EC-SIPE bulk. It is hypothesized that the ionic end-groups are localised at the grain boundaries of PEO domains. Percolation of these boundaries are proposed to be improved under appropriate, mild conditions of temperature and electromagnetic force. Finally, the synthesis methods implemented in this thesis and characterizations of EC-SIPEs are described in Chapter III.
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Philip Overton. Mono-EndCapped Single-Ion Polymer Electrolytes : Synthesis & Lithium-Ion Transport Properties. Polymers. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019GREAV010⟩. ⟨tel-02191649⟩

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