Lithium-based solid polymer electrolytes Paula C. Barbosa, Luísa C. Rodrigues, Maria M. Silva, Michael J. Smith Centro de Química, Universidade do Minho, Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal Since the pioneering work of Wright  and Armand et al. the complexes formed between alkali metal salts and poly(ethylene oxide), PEO, generally referred to as polymer electrolytes, have been the object of a great deal of research. Originally investigated for use in solid state batteries, polymer electrolytes may also be incorporated in thin film, rechargeable batteries, fuel cells, electrochromic displays, electrochromic windows, photoelectrochemical cells and chemical sensors. The advantages of replacing a liquid organic electrolyte with an immobilized polymer are now widely recognized, and included improved safety and interfacial properties as well as ease of battery design and fabrication due to the plasticity of the components . However, these materials suffer from a lower conductivity in the solid state than most liquid, gel, and ceramic electrolytes. Attempts to increase the ionic conductivity of second generation SPEs involved the application of various strategies , including the study of a wide variety of elastomeric host polymers, alternative lithium salts and the use of a range of conductivity-enhancing additives. Thin, self-supporting films of electrolyte were prepared by solvent-casting mixtures with known quantities of lithium salts and an amorphous polymer host under the inert atmosphere of dry argon-filled gloveboxes. Electrolytes were characterized by measurements of conductivity, cyclic voltammetry, differential scanning calorimetry and thermogravimetry. References  D.E. Fenton, J.M. Parker, P.V. Wright, Polymer 14 (1973) 589.  M.B. Armand, J.M. Chabagno, M.J. Duclot, Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Solid Electrolytes, St. Andrews, Scotland, 1978.  F. M. Gray, in Solid Polymer Electrolytes: Fundamentals and Technological Applications, VCH Publishers, Inc. (1991).  J.R. MacCallum, C.A. Vincent (Eds.), Polymer Electrolyte Reviews— 1 and 2, Elsevier, London, 1987 and 1989.
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