New paper on solvent free ionic conductivity out in Macromolecules

Metal–ligand coordination, as a non-covalent interaction, has been extensively applied in polymer matrices to enhance the mechanical toughness, tune viscoelasticity, and enable self-healing. In recent years, metal–ligand coordination has also been studied as a means of designing ionically conductive polymers. Silicone is a widely used elastomer due to its low cost, large strain to failure, and excellent chemical resistance. However, its poor ionic conductivity limits its application in many fields, including electrochemical devices, batteries, and fuel cells. In “Understanding How Metal–Ligand Coordination Enables Solvent Free Ionic Conductivity in PDMS“, we show that the incorporation of metal-ligand complexes into silicone can enhance its ionic conductivity without the need for a solvent and investigate the fundamental mechanisms governing this conductivity, using in-depth experimental studies with fully atomistic MD simulations. Our work provides insights into the strategic design of ionically conducting polymers that would benefit a range of applications. This effort was led jointly by MMD lab PhD graduate Xinyue Zhang and soon to be MS graduate Jinyue Dai, and in collaboration with Max Tepermeister, Prof Jingjie Yeo, and Yue Deng from the Archer lab.

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