The layer-by-layer (LBL) deposition technique has been applied to the design of polymer electrolyte films appropriate for electrochemical applications such as sensors and electrochromic cells. In this work, we describe the properties of three LBL polymer electrolyte systems assembled from cationic layers of linear poly(ethylene imine) (LPEI), with anionic layers of Nafion, poly(2-acrylamido-2-methyl-1-propanesulfonic acid) (PAMPS), and poly- (acrylic acid) (PAA). The assembly behavior of these systems was carefully examined, and ionic conductivity was determined using impedance spectroscopy. The influences of assembly conditions and water plasticization on ion conduction were elaborated. Room-temperature ionic conductivity greater than 10-5 S/cm can be achieved within LPEI/PAMPS and LPEI/ PAA films, which is 2 orders of magnitude greater than the highest values previously described in LBL films. By manipulating a unique assembly mechanism, high ionic conductivity can be achieved in LPEI/PAMPS films at low plasticizer concentrations. Also, the addition of lithium triflate salt to fully constructed films increases ionic conductivity at low plasticizer concentrations. The evaluation of performance based on assembly conditions clearly reveals the contributions of different materials and morphologies, suggesting themes for further ionic conductivity improvement.
DeLongchamp, Dean M., Paula T. Hammond