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Keywords:

  • block copolymers;
  • electrolyte;
  • energy;
  • ionic conductivity;
  • lithium battery;
  • morphology;
  • nanostructure;
  • poly(ethylene oxide);
  • salt-doping

ABSTRACT

Ion-conducting block copolymers (BCPs) have attracted significant interest as conducting materials in solid-state lithium batteries. BCP self-assembly offers promise for designing ordered materials with nanoscale domains. Such nanostructures provide a facile method for introducing sufficient mechanical stability into polymer electrolyte membranes, while maintaining the ionic conductivity at levels similar to corresponding solvent-free homopolymer electrolytes. This ability to simultaneously control conductivity and mechanical integrity provides opportunities for the fabrication of sturdy, yet easily processable, solid-state lithium batteries. In this review, we first introduce several fundamental studies of ion conduction in homopolymers for the understanding of ion transport in the conducting domain of BCP systems. Then, we summarize recent experimental studies of BCP electrolytes with respect to the effects of salt-doping and morphology on ionic conductivity. Finally, we present some remaining challenges for BCP electrolytes and highlight several important areas for future research. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Polym. Sci., Part B: Polym. Phys. 2014, 52, 1–16