Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 4-30-2021

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Chemistry and Biochemistry

First Advisor

Jason Ritchie

Second Advisor

Susan Pedigo

Third Advisor

Kerri Scott

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

The overall goal of work in this field is to improve materials for use in a variety of applications in fuel cell and battery production. This thesis specifically investigates the synthesis of two variations of a methyl (polyethylene glycol) comb polymer electrolyte (MePEGnwhere n=7) to understand how the molecular structure of an ion-conducting polymer affects its electrochemical properties. The MePEG used in this synthesis contains seven ethylene glycol groups and was added to a poly (methylhydrosiloxane) comb polymer backbone. In the first sample, the polymer contained only the MePEG sidechain, and in the second sample, the polymer contained a mixture of MePEG sidechains and alkyl bromide sidechains. In additional synthesis steps, these polymers were acidified with lithium and sulfonic acid (SO3H). These polymer electrolytes were synthesized in order to study ionic conductivity, which would ultimately be used to determine efficiency for possible application in fuel cells.

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