Electrostatic control of block copolymer morphology

Charles E. Sing, Jos W. Zwanikken, Monica Olvera De La Cruz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Energy storage is at present one of the foremost issues society faces. However, material challenges now serve as bottlenecks in technological progress. Lithium-ion batteries are the current gold standard to meet energy storage needs; however, they are limited owing to the inherent instability of liquid electrolytes. Block copolymers can self-assemble into nanostructures that simultaneously facilitate ion transport and provide mechanical stability. The ions themselves have a profound, yet previously unpredictable, effect on how these nanostructures assemble and thus the efficiency of ion transport. Here we demonstrate that varying the charge of a block copolymer is a powerful mechanism to predictably tune nanostructures. In particular, we demonstrate that highly asymmetric charge cohesion effects can induce the formation of nanostructures that are inaccessible to conventional uncharged block copolymers, including percolated phases desired for ion transport. This vastly expands the design space for block copolymer materials and is informative for the versatile design of battery electrolyte materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)694-698
Number of pages5
JournalNature Materials
Volume13
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Electrostatic control of block copolymer morphology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this