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Morphology of Anion-Conducting Ionenes Investigated by X-ray Scattering and Simulation

Schibli, Eric M.; Wright, Andrew G.; Holdcroft, Steven; Frisken, Barbara J.

By 12 March 2019March 18th, 2019No Comments

The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2018, vol 122, 5, pp. 1730-1737



We have studied the morphology of a novel series of benzimidazole-based ionenes, methylated poly(hexamethyl-p-terphenylbenzimidazolium) (HMT-PMBI), in halide form. Materials with anion-exchange capacities ranging from 0 to 2.5 mequiv/g were studied. X-ray scattering reveals three length scales in the materials: ion–polymer spacing (4 Å), polymer–polymer interchain spacing (6 Å), and an intrachain repeat distance (20 Å). No long-range structure is apparent above the monomer length, which is rare in ion-conducting polymer membranes. In preliminary molecular dynamics simulations, water molecules were observed forming chains between ions, even at a modest level of hydration, providing an interpenetrating network where conductivity can occur.

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