Understanding Motion and Response of Ionic Diblock Copolymer Thin Films for Improved Energy Storage

Understanding Motion and Response of Ionic Diblock Copolymer Thin Films for Improved Energy Storage

Scientific Achievement
Artistic representation of thin films of charged co-polymers (gray molecules are charged) probed by neutrons (yellow). The neutron data provides a direct measure of nanoscale structural changes under the applied field. When a weak electric field was applied the spacing between the red dots increased confirming that the total thickness of the thin polymer film was reduced. (hi-res image)

Developed and validated first model showing how electric fields elicit specific response from  charged co-polymer thin films.

Significance and Impact

Understanding electric-field induced response of ionic block copolymers is crucial for applications in areas such as energy storage, microelectronics, and transducers.

Research Details

– In-situ neutron reflectometry  measurements revealed film structure under applied field.

– Coarse-grained molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were used to develop a fundamental understanding of film response.

– Precision synthesis and rigorous characterization allowed for seamless integration of experiments, theory and simulations.

 

J. W. Dugger, W. Li, M. Chen, T. E. Long, R. J. L. Welbourn, M. W. A. Skoda, J. F. Browning, R. Kumar, and B. S. Lokitz, "Nanoscale resolution of electric-field induced motion in ionic diblock copolymer thin films," ACS Appl. Matter. Interfaces 10 (38), 32678-32687 (2018).   DOI: 10.1021/acsami.8b11220

CNMS Researchers

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