Enhancement of ion dynamics in organic ionic plastic crystal/PVDF composite electrolytes prepared by co-electrospinning

Xiaoen Wang, Haijin Zhu, George W. Greene, Jiaye Li, Nahid Iranipour, Célia Garnier, Jian Fang, Michel Armand, Maria Forsyth, Jennifer M. Pringle, Patrick C. Howlett*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Electrospun fibers are widely used in composite material design and fabrication due to their high aspect ratio, high surface area and favorable mechanical properties. In this report, novel organic ionic plastic crystal (OIPC) modified poly(vinylidene difluoride) (PVDF) composite fiber membranes were prepared by electrospinning. These composite materials are of interest for application as solid electrolytes in devices including lithium and sodium batteries. The influence of the OIPC, N-ethyl-N-methylpyrrolidinium tetrafluoroborate [C2mpyr][BF4], on the morphology and phase behavior of the composite fibers was investigated by scanning electron microscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Compared with pure electrospun PVDF fibers, which have an electroactive β phase and a small amount of non-polar α phase, the ion-dipole interaction between OIPC and the polymer in the co-electrospun composite system can reduce the non-polar α phase PVDF, resulting in almost entirely electroactive β phase PVDF. Differential scanning calorimetry shows that the ion-dipole interaction between the OIPC and PVDF can also interrupt the crystalline structure of the OIPC. Solid state NMR analysis also reveals different molecular dynamics of the [C2mpyr][BF4] in co-electrospun fibers compared with pure OIPC. Thus, electrospun [C2mpyr][BF4]/PVDF composite fibers that combine both increased ionic conductivity and almost pure β phase PVDF are demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9873-9880
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Issue number25
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


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