Effects of repeat unit charge density on the physical and electrochemical properties of novel heterocationic poly(ionic liquid)s†
We report the synthesis and structure/property correlations of a series of eight poly(ionic liquid)s (PILs) obtained from sequential AA + BB polyaddition by copper(I)-catalyzed azide–alkyne cycloaddition and the subsequent N-alkylation reaction. The different repeat units contain one to four ion pairs, with one to four bis(trifluorosulfonyl)imide (TFSI) anions and one or two types of ammonium, imidazolium or 1,2,3-triazolium counter-cations. Their physical, ion conducting and electrochemical properties are discussed based on the repeat unit charge density and structure of the cationic moieties. The comparison of several pairs of polyelectrolytes revealed that ionic conductivity is dependent on (1) the ratio between the number of charge carriers per monomer unit and the number of surrounding atoms/groups that can solvate the ions and (2) the nature of the cation. The highest conductivity (1.8 × 10−5 S cm−1 at 25 °C) was reached when PILs contain two 1,2,3-triazolium cations that are separated by an oxyethylene spacer. The incorporation of an additional type of cation (either imidazolium or ammonium with 1,2,3-triazolium) in one PIL allows its cathodic limit to be increased up to −0.4 V vs. Li+/Li (70 °C) and the oxidation instability of 1,2,3-triazolium cations to be overcome.