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Author ORCID ID is 0000000245367530
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  1. Here, a series of cross–linked, freestanding oligo(ethylene oxide)– co–(polydimethylsiloxane–norbornene) membranes with varied composition is synthesized via in situ ring–opening metathesis polymerization. These membranes show remarkably high CO 2 permeabilities (3400 Barrer) and their separation performance approaches the Robeson upper bound. The excellent permeability of these copolymer membranes provides great potential for real–world applications where enormous volumes of gases must be separated. The gas transport properties of these films are found to be directly proportional to oligo(ethylene oxide) content incorporation, which stems from the increased solubility selectivity change within the copolymer matrix. This work provides a systematic study of how gasmore » separation performance in rubbery membranes can be enhanced by tuning the CO 2–philicity of their constituent monomeric subunits.« less
  2. A telechelic hydrogen-bonding PDMS exhibits properties of a dual network despite containing only one type of end-group.
  3. Broadband dielectric spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, and rheology were employed to study the impact of hydrogen (H)-bonding end-groups on segmental and chain dynamics of telechelic polypropylene glycol (PPG) and poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS). Polymer chains with three types of H-bonding end-groups possessing different interaction strengths and a non-H-bonding end-group as reference were compared. The glass transition temperature (Tg) of H-bonding PPG systems with low molecular weight increases compared to the reference, and the Tg difference varies with chain-end interaction strength. In contrast, their shear viscosities (for Tg-scaled temperature, i.e., when the shift in Tg is accounted for) are similar to that onemore » of the reference. This is in strong contrast to the behavior of telechelic PDMS with the same set of end-groups, where the Tg increase of all H-bonding systems is independent of H-bond strengths, while shear viscosity increases significantly only for the strongest H-bonding end-groups. These observations are explained by the difference in lifetime of the end-group associations relative to segmental and chain relaxation times.« less
  4. Sodium-based batteries are promising for grid-storage applications because of significantly lower cost compared to lithium-based systems. The advancement of solid-state and redox-flow sodium-ion batteries requires sodium-ion exchange membranes with high conductivity, electrochemical stability, and mechanical robustness. This study demonstrates that membranes based on poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) can meet these requirements. Membranes plasticized with tetraethylene glycol dimethyl ether (TEGDME) achieve high ionic conductivity. Plasticized PEO membranes containing sodium triflate salt (NaTFS) show about 2 orders of magnitude higher conductivity compared to nonplasticized PEO membranes. Results from vibrational spectroscopy and differential scanning calorimetry describe the coordination chemistry in these multiphase materials andmore » explain the mechanisms behind the increased conductivity. The mechanical properties of the membranes improve by addition of 5 wt % sodium carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) without compromising the conductivity or electrochemical stability against sodium metal. In conclusion, the optimized membrane is an excellent candidate for low-cost energy storage systems that operate over a wide voltage window near ambient temperature.« less
  5. In this study, we focus on the influence of hydrophilic groups and metal-ion loading on adsorbent polymer conformation, which controls access to adsorption sites and may limit adsorption capacity. Gaining a better understanding of the factors that influence conformation may yield higher-capacity adsorbents. Polyamidoxime (PAO), deuterated-PAO polyacrylic acid diblock copolymers (d-PAO-b-PAA), and randomly configured copolymers (PAO-co-PAA) were synthesized and characterized by neutron reflectometry in air and D 2O. For d-PAO-b-PAA, characterization was also performed after alkali conditioning and in simulated seawater. PAO and PAO-co-PAA, with similar molecular weight and grafting density, extended from 95-Å thickness in air to 180 andmore » 280-Å in D 2O, respectively. This result suggests that polymer swelling may cause the additional adsorption capacity observed when polymer hydrophilicity increases. Two d-PAO-b-PAA samples, A and B, with a d-PAO thickness of 55-Å swelled to 110-Å and 140-Å, respectively, with an overall thickness increase of ~160% in D 2O. After alkali conditioning, molecular interactions increased the density of PAA near the PAO-PAA interface, while the d-PAO thickness only decreased by ~10 Å. The d-PAO thickness of both samples declined to ~90-Å after adsorption in simulated seawater due to polymer-chain crosslinking. In conclusion, these results are expected to aid in improving adsorbent synthesis to increase uranium capacity.« less
  6. Although significant progress has been made in improving cycling performance of silicon-based electrodes, few studies have been performed on the architecture effect on polymer binder performance for lithium-ion batteries. A systematic study on the relationship between polymer architectures and binder performance is especially useful in designing synthetic polymer binders. In this paper, a graft block copolymer with readily tunable architecture parameters is synthesized and tested as the polymer binder for the high-mass loading silicon (15 wt %)/graphite (73 wt %) composite electrode (active materials >2.5 mg/cm 2). With the same chemical composition and functional group ratio, the graft block copolymermore » reveals improved cycling performance in both capacity retention (495 mAh/g vs 356 mAh/g at 100th cycle) and Coulombic efficiency (90.3% vs 88.1% at first cycle) than the physical mixing of glycol chitosan (GC) and lithium polyacrylate (LiPAA). Galvanostatic results also demonstrate the significant impacts of different architecture parameters of graft copolymers, including grafting density and side chain length, on their ultimate binder performance. Finally, by simply changing the side chain length of GC-g-LiPAA, the retaining delithiation capacity after 100 cycles varies from 347 mAh/g to 495 mAh/g.« less
  7. More than 1000× uranium exists in the oceans than exists in terrestrial ores. With nuclear power generation expected to increase over the coming decades, access to this unconventional reserve is a matter of energy security. With origins in the mid-1950’s, materials have been developed for the selective recovery of seawater uranium for more than six decades, with a renewed interest in particular since 2010. This review comprehensively surveys materials developed from 2000 – 2016 for recovery of seawater uranium, in particular including recent developments in inorganic materials, polymer adsorbents and related research pertaining to amidoxime, and nanostructured materials such asmore » metal-organic frameworks, porous-organic polymers, and mesoporous carbons. In conclusion, challenges of performing reliable and reproducible uranium adsorption studies are also discussed, as well as the standardization of parameters necessary to ensure valid comparisons between different adsorbents.« less
    Cited by 18Full Text Available
  8. Polymerized ionic liquids (polyILs), composed mostly of organic ions covalently bonded to the polymer backbone and free counterions, are considered as an ideal electrolytes for various electrochemical devices, including fuel cells, supercapacitors and batteries. Despite large structural diversity of these systems, all of them reveal a universal but poorly understood feature - a charge transport faster than the segmental dynamics. Here, to address this issue, we have studied three novel polymer electrolyte membrane for fuel cells as well as four single-ion conductors including highly conductive siloxane-based polyIL. Our ambient and high pressure studies revealed fundamental differences in the conducting propertiesmore » of the examined systems. Finally, we demonstrate that the proposed methodology is a powerful tool to identify the charge transport mechanism in polyILs in general and thereby contribute to unraveling the microscopic nature of the decoupling phenomenon in these materials.« less
  9. Conductivity in polymer electrolytes has been generally discussed with the assumption that the segmental motions control charge transport. However, much less attention has been paid to the mechanism of ion conductivity where the motions of ions are less dependent (decoupled) on segmental dynamics. We present that this phenomenon is observed in ionic materials as they approach their glass transition temperature and becomes essential for design and development of highly conducting solid polymer electrolytes. In this paper, we study the effect of chain rigidity on the decoupling of ion transport from segmental motion in three polymerized ionic liquids (polyILs) containing themore » same cation–anion pair but differing in flexibility of the polymer backbones and side groups. Analysis of dielectric and rheology data reveals that decoupling is strong in vinyl-based rigid polymers while almost negligible in novel siloxane-based flexible polyILs. To explain this behavior, we investigated ion and chain dynamics at ambient and elevated pressure. Our results suggest that decoupling has a direct relationship to the frustration in chain packing and free volume. Finally, these conclusions are also supported by coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations.« less
  10. Here, polymer membranes with the capability to process a massive volume of gas are especially attractive for practical applications of gas separation. Although much effort has been devoted to develop novel polymer membranes with increased selectivity, the overall gas-separation performance and lifetime of membrane are still negatively affected by the weak mechanical performance, low plasticization resistance and poor physical aging tolerance. Recently, elastic polymer membranes with tunable mechanical properties have been attracting significant attentions due to their tremendous potential applications. Herein, we report a series of urethanerich PDMS-based polymer networks (U-PDMS-NW) with improved mechanical performance for gas separation. The cross-linkmore » density of U-PDMS-NWs is tailored by varying the molecular weight ( M n) of PDMS. The U-PDMS-NWs show up to 400% elongation and tunable Young’s modulus (1.3–122.2 MPa), ultimate tensile strength (1.1–14.3 MPa), and toughness (0.7–24.9 MJ/m 3). All of the U-PDMS-NWs exhibit salient gas-separation performance with excellent thermal resistance and aging tolerance, high gas permeability (>100 Barrer), and tunable gas selectivity (up to α[ P CO2/ P N2] ≈ 41 and α[ P CO2/ P CH4] ≈ 16). With well-controlled mechanical properties and gas-separation performance, these U-PDMS-NW can be used as a polymermembrane platform not only for gas separation but also for other applications such as microfluidic channels and stretchable electronic devices.« less

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