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Composition as a Means to Control Morphology and Properties of Epoxy Based Dual-Phase Structural Electrolytes

Shirshova, Natasha; Bismarck, Alexander; Greenhalgh, Emile S.; Johansson, Patrik; Kalinka, Gerhard; Marczewski, Maciej J.; Shaffer, Milo S.P.; Wienrich, Malte

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Alexander Bismarck

Emile S. Greenhalgh

Patrik Johansson

Gerhard Kalinka

Maciej J. Marczewski

Milo S.P. Shaffer

Malte Wienrich


Structural electrolytes were prepared using a fully formulated commercially available high performance epoxy resin (MTM57) and an ionic liquid based electrolyte: lithium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide (LiTFSI) dissolved in 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide (EMIM-TFSI). Through a systematic study, the composition of the formulations was found to have a greater effect than the curing temperature on the morphology and properties of the resulting structural electrolytes. The presence of lithium salt is essential to form a structurally homogeneous electrolyte. Bicontinuous morphologies containing continuous (coarse) epoxy networks surrounded by connected spherical epoxy nodules were obtained with different length scales upon varying the lithium salt concentration. Increasing the LiTFSI concentration improved the miscibility of MTM57 with the electrolyte and decreased the characteristic length scale of the resulting bicontinuous microstructure. The properties of the structural electrolytes correlated with the morphology, showing increased Young’s modulus and decreased ionic conductivity with increasing lithium salt concentration. The miscibility of the epoxy system with the electrolyte was also improved by substitution of EMIM-TFSI with an equal weight of an aprotic organic solvent, propylene carbonate (PC); however, the window of PC concentrations which resulted in structural electrolytes with bicontinuous microstructures was very narrow; at PC concentrations above 1 wt %, gel-like polymers with no permanent mesoporosity were obtained.


Shirshova, N., Bismarck, A., Greenhalgh, E. S., Johansson, P., Kalinka, G., Marczewski, M. J., …Wienrich, M. (2014). Composition as a Means to Control Morphology and Properties of Epoxy Based Dual-Phase Structural Electrolytes. Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 118(49), 28377-28387.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 29, 2014
Online Publication Date Dec 2, 2014
Publication Date Dec 2, 2014
Deposit Date Mar 12, 2015
Publicly Available Date Mar 13, 2015
Journal Journal of Physical Chemistry C
Print ISSN 1932-7447
Electronic ISSN 1932-7455
Publisher American Chemical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 118
Issue 49
Pages 28377-28387


Accepted Journal Article (1.7 Mb)

Copyright Statement
This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in Journal of physical chemistry C, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see

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