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Nanoparticle enhanced conductivity in organic ionic plastic crystals : space charge versus strain induced defect mechanism
journal contributionposted on 02.08.2007, 00:00 authored by Y Shekibi, A Gray-Weale, D MacFarlane, A Hill, Maria ForsythMaria Forsyth
High conductivity in solid-state electrolytes is a critical requirement for many advanced energy and other electrochemical applications. Plastic crystalline materials have shown promise in this regard, and the inclusion of nanosized inorganic particles in both amorphous and crystalline materials has indicated order of magnitude enhancements in ion transport induced by space charge or other defect enhancement. In this paper we present conductivity enhancements in the plastic crystal N,N‘-ethylmethylpyrrolidinium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)amide ([C2mpyr][NTf2]) induced by nanosized SiO2 particles. The addition of the nanoparticles dramatically increases plasticity and ion mobility. Positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy (PALS) measurements indicate an increase in mean defect size and defect concentration as a result of nanoparticle inclusion. The scaling of the conductivity with size suggests that a “trivial space charge” effect is operable, although a strain induced enhancement of defects (in particular extended defects) is also likely given the observed increase in plasticity.