An ionic liquid based gel polymer electrolyte to be employed in power generating applications

Wathsala Prasadini, Kumudu Perera, Kamal Vidanapathirana


Ionic liquid (IL) based gel polymer electrolytes (GPEs) are being investigated extensively at present as substitutes for conventional GPEs based on a polymer, a salt and solvents. The main reason behind this is the drawbacks in usage of solvents. IL based GPEs have been employed for energy storage devices such as batteries and super capacitors due to their interesting mechanical, physical and electrochemical properties. This study focused on synthesis preparation and characterization of an IL based GPE consisting of poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene) (PVdF-co-HFP), zinc trifluoro metha -nesulfonate (Zn(CF3SO3)2 - ZnTF) and 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium trifluoromethanesulfonate (1E3MITF). Thin film samples were prepared using solvent casting method. The optimized composition was found to be 1 PVdF-co-HFP: 1 1E3MITF: 3 ZnTF (by weight basis). This mechanically stable, thin film has the maximum room temperature conductivity of 7.42×10-3 S cm-1. Conductivity variation with temperature follows Vogel - Tamman - Fulcher (VTF) behavior confirming the relation of conductivity mechanism with the free volume theory. The IL based GPE is a purely an ionic conductor having a considerable anionic contribution. It shows stability up to 2.5 V which is very much convenient from a practical point of view. Oxidation and reduction of Zn takes place at the potentials of 0.5 V and –0.5 V, respectively. In addition, Zn platting and stripping occurs only on the Zn electrodes but not on the stainless steel (SS) electrodes. Impedance measurements taken for the GPE continuously for a long period of time exhibited a satisfactory stability with Zn electrodes.

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