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Keywords:

  • polymeric electrolytes;
  • ionic conductivity;
  • poly(ethylene oxide) PEO;
  • crystal structures;
  • microstructure

Abstract

This work has demonstrated that the incorporation of benzimidazole derivatives, 2,2′-p-phenylene-bisindole (PPBI), enhances the ionic conductivity of a poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO)–based electrolyte by 20 times more than the plain system. Specific interactions among amino group, ethyl oxide, and lithium cation were investigated using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), FTIR, and alternating current impedance. The DSC characterization confirms that the initial addition of PPBI is able to enhance the PEO crystallinity attributed to the interaction between the negative charge from the amino group and the lithium cation. Three types of complexes are present: complex I is present in the PEO phase, complex II resides at interphase, and complex III is located within the PPBI domain. Complex II plays the key role in stabilizing these two microstructure phases. FTIR spectra confirm that because of the presence of PPBI one is able to dissolve lithium salts more easily than in the plain electrolyte system and thus increase the fraction of free ions. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 91: 719–725, 2004