From Block Copolymers to Crosslinked Networks: Anionic Polymerization Affords Functional Macromolecules for Advanced Technologies
Ion-containing macromolecules continue to stimulate new opportunities for emerging electro-active applications ranging from high performance energy devices to water purification membranes. Progress in polymer synthesis and engineering now permit well-defined, ion-containing macromolecules with tunable morphologies, mechanical performance, ion conductivity, and 3D structure in order to address these globally challenged technologies. Achieving tailored chemical compositions with high degrees of phase separation for optimizing conductivity and water adsorption remains a constant synthetic challenge and presents an exciting opportunity for engineering sophisticated macromolecular architectures. This dissertation will introduce unprecedented charged polymers using conventional free radical and anionic polymerization to incorporate ionic functionalities based on phosphonium cations. This new class of copolymers offers unique properties with ionic functionality for tailorable electro-active performance.