2-(Dimethylamino)ethyl acrylate (DMAEA) imparts versatile functionality to poly[Sty-b-(nBA-co-DMAEA)-b-Sty] ABA triblock copolymers. A controlled synthetic strategy minimized chain transfer reactions and enabled the preparation of high-molecular-weight ABA triblock copolymers with relatively narrow PDIs between 1.39 and 1.44 using reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization. The presence of tertiary amine functionality and their zwitterionic derivatives in the central blocks of the triblock copolymers afforded tunable polarity toward ionic liquids. Gravimetric measurements determined the swelling capacity of the triblock copolymers for ionic liquids (IL) 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium trifluoromethanesulfonate (EMIm TfO) and 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium ethylsulfate (EMIm ES). A correlation of differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) results revealed the impact of ionic liquid incorporation on the thermal transitions, thermomechanical properties, and morphologies of the triblock copolymers. IL-containing membranes of DMAEA-derived triblock copolymers and EMIm TfO exhibited desirable rubbery plateau moduli of ∼100 MPa and electromechanical actuation to a 4 V electrical stimulus. Maintaining the mechanical ductility of polymer matrices while increasing their ion-conductivity is paramount for future electroactive devices.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)