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Development of an Ionic Liquid Electrolyte for Seismometer Applications

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Iodide-based ionic liquids have been widely employed as sources of iodide in electrolytes for applications utilizing the triiodide/iodide redox couple. While adding a low-viscosity solvent such as water to ionic liquids can greatly enhance their usefulness, mixtures of highly viscous

Iodide-based ionic liquids have been widely employed as sources of iodide in electrolytes for applications utilizing the triiodide/iodide redox couple. While adding a low-viscosity solvent such as water to ionic liquids can greatly enhance their usefulness, mixtures of highly viscous iodide-containing ILs with water have never been studied. Thus, this paper investigates, for the first time, mixtures of water and the ionic liquid 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium iodide ([BMIM][I]) through a combined experimental and molecular dynamics study. The density, melting point, viscosity and conductivity of these mixtures were measured experimentally. The composition region below 50% water by mole was found to be dramatically different from the region above 50% water, with trends in density and melting point differing before and after that point. Water was found to have a profound effect on viscosity and conductivity of the IL, and the effect of hydrogen bonding was discussed. Molecular dynamics simulations representing the same mixture compositions were performed. Molecular ordering was observed, as were changes in this ordering corresponding to water content. Molecular ordering was related to the experimentally measured mixture properties, providing a possible explanation for the two distinct composition regions identified by experiment.

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2015-05

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Pyrrole-based poly(ionic liquids) as efficient stabilizers for formation of hollow MWCNT particles

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Poly(ionic liquid)s (PILs) with an intrinsically conducting pyrrole polymer (ICP) backbone were synthesized and utilized as novel dispersants of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in various polar and nonpolar solvents. This is due to their highly tunable nature, in which the anions

Poly(ionic liquid)s (PILs) with an intrinsically conducting pyrrole polymer (ICP) backbone were synthesized and utilized as novel dispersants of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in various polar and nonpolar solvents. This is due to their highly tunable nature, in which the anions can be easily exchanged to form PILs of varying polarity but with the same polycation. These CNT dispersions were exceedingly stable over many months, and with the addition of hexane, Pickering emulsions with the PIL-stabilized CNTs at the droplet interfaces were formed. Depending on the hydrophobicity of the PIL, hexane-in-water and hexane-in-acetonitrile emulsions were formed, the latter marking the first non-aqueous stabilized-CNT emulsions and corresponding CNT-in-acetonitrile dispersion, further advancing the processability of CNTs. The PIL-stabilized CNT Pickering emulsion droplets generated hollow conductive particles by subsequent drying of the emulsions. With the emulsion templating, the hollow shells can be used as a payload carrier, depending on the solubility of the payload in the droplet phase of the emulsion. This was demonstrated with silicon nanoparticles, which have limited solubility in aqueous environments, but great scientific interest due to their potential electrochemical applications. Overall, this work explored a new class of efficient PIL-ICP hybrid stabilizers with tunable hydrophobicity, offering extended stability of carbon nanotube dispersions with novel applications in hollow particle formation via Pickering emulsion templating and in placing payloads into the shells.

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2015-12

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Stress-responsive nano- and microcomposites featuring mechanophore units

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The problem of catastrophic damage purveys in any material application, and minimizing its occurrence is paramount for general health and safety. Thus, novel damage detection schemes are required that can sense the precursors to damage. Mechanochemistry is the area of

The problem of catastrophic damage purveys in any material application, and minimizing its occurrence is paramount for general health and safety. Thus, novel damage detection schemes are required that can sense the precursors to damage. Mechanochemistry is the area of research that involves the use of mechanical force to induce a chemical change, with recent study focusing on directing the mechanical force to embedded mechanophore units for a targeted chemical response. Mechanophores are molecular units that provide a measureable signal in response to an applied force, often in the form of a visible color change or fluorescent emission, and their application to thermoset network polymers has been limited. Following preliminary work on polymer blends of cyclobutane-based mechanophores and epoxy, dimeric 9-anthracene carboxylic acid (Di-AC)-based mechanophore particles were synthesized and employed to form stress sensitive particle reinforced epoxy matrix composites.

Under an applied stress, the cyclooctane-rings in the Di-AC particles revert back to their fluorescent anthracene form, which linearly enhances the overall fluorescence of the composite in response to the applied strain. The fluorescent signal further allows for stress sensing in the elastic region of the stress-strain curve, which is considered to be a form of damage precursor detection. This behavior was further analyzed at the molecular scale with corresponding molecular dynamics simulations. Following the successful application of Di-AC to an epoxy matrix, the mechanophore particles were incorporated into a polyurethane matrix to show the universal nature of Di-AC as a stress-sensitive particle filler. Interestingly, in polyurethane Di-AC could successfully detect damage with less applied strain compared to the epoxy system.

While mechanophores of varying chemistries have been covalently incorporated into elastomeric and thermoplastic polymer systems, they have not yet been covalently incorporated a thermoset network polymer. Thus, following the study of mechanophore particles as stress-sensitive fillers, two routes of grafting mechanophore units into an epoxy system to form a self-sensing nanocomposite were explored. These involved the mechanophore precursor and mechanophore, cinnamamide and di-cinnamamide, respectively. With both molecules, the free amine groups can directly bond to epoxy resin to covalently incorporate themselves within the thermoset network to form a self-sensing nanocomposite.

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2016