Ion-conducting Thermo-responsive Films Based on Polymer Grafted Cellulose Nanocrystals

Scientific Achievement

Mechanically robust, thermoresponsive, ion-conducting nanocomposite films have been prepared from ionic liquid imbibed poly(2-phenylethyl methacrylate)-grafted cellulose nanocrystals. On account of the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of the grafted polymer in the ionic liquid, these materials exhibit a conductivity decrease around 60 °C

Significance and Impact

The results point toward the design and development of materials exhibiting properties relevant to thermal cutoff safety devices (e.g., thermal fuse), where a reduction in conductivity above a critical temperature is needed.

Research Details

  • Polymer-grafted nanoparticles (PGNs) consisting of poly(2-phenylethyl methacrylate) (PPMA) attached to cellulose nanocrystal were synthesized.
  • PGNs + ionic liquid films display improvements in toughness (>25 times) relative to the composites of ionic liquid imbibed in CNC + PPMA films.
  • PGN film containing 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide (MxG-CNC-g-PPMA/[E]) exhibits temperature responsive ionic conduction.

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DOI: 10.1021/acsami.0c16059

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