Synthesis of imidazolium ABA triblock copolymers for electromechanical transducers

Matthew D. Green, Dong Wang, Sean T. Hemp, Jae Hong Choi, Karen I. Winey, James R. Heflin, Timothy Edward Long

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


Nitroxide-mediated polymerization enabled the synthesis of cationic, imidazolium-containing triblock copolymers as a membrane for an electromechanical transducer. Nitroxide-mediated polymerization afforded poly(styrene-b-[1-ethyl-3-(4-vinylbenzyl)imidazolium bis(trifluoromethane sulfonyl)imide)]-b-styrene) in a controlled fashion as confirmed using aqueous size exclusion chromatography and 1H NMR spectroscopy. Dynamic mechanical analysis revealed a modulus of approximately 100 MPa for the triblock copolymer at 23 °C, which was suitable for fabrication of an electromechanical actuator. Evaluation of electromechanical actuators revealed device curvatures over twice the curvatures for Nafion ® in both the presence and absence of a conductive network composite. Addition of the ionic liquid (IL) 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium trifluoromethane sulfonate selectively reduced the glass transition temperature (T g) of the central block and increased overall ionic conductivity. Normalizing temperature with the central block T g caused the ionic conductivity for the IL-incorporated polymers to collapse onto a single curve, which was an order of magnitude higher than the block copolymer in the absence of added IL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3677-3686
Number of pages10
JournalPolymer (United Kingdom)
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Aug 2
Externally publishedYes


  • Actuators
  • Block copolymers
  • Ionic liquid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics


Dive into the research topics of 'Synthesis of imidazolium ABA triblock copolymers for electromechanical transducers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this