Over the past three decades, solid polymer electrolytes (SPEs) have drawn significant attention of researchers due to their prospective commercial applications in high energy-density batteries, electrochemical sensors and super-capacitors.The optimum conductivity required for such applications is about 10-2 - 10-4 S/cm, which is hard to achieve in these systems.It is known that the increase in the concentration of salt in the host polymer results in a continuous increase in the ionic conductivity. However, there is a critical concentration of the salt beyond which the conductivity decreases due to formation of ion pairs with no net charge. In the present study, an attempt is made to identify the concentration at which ion pair formation occurs in PEO: RbBr. We have attempted to modify microstructure of the host polymer matrix by low energy ion (Oxygen ion, O+1 with energy 100 keV) irradiation. Ionic conductivity measurements in these systems were carried out using Impedance Spectroscopy before and after irradiation to different fluencies of the oxygen ion. It is observed that the conductivity increases by one order in magnitude. The increase in ionic conductivity may be attributed to the enhanced segmental motion of the polymer chains. The study reveals the importance of ion irradiation as an effective tool to enhance conductivity in SPEs.
H. Manjunatha, Kumaraswamy, G. N., Damle, R., and , “Effect of low energy oxygen ion beam irradiation on ionic conductivity of solid polymer electrolyte”, in AIP Conference Proceedings, 2014.