In this study, poly(methyl methacrylate-maleic anhydride) (P(MMA-MAh)) was synthesized in toluene from methyl methacrylate (MMA) and maleic anhydride (MAh) monomers via free radical polymerization, in the presence of 2,2′-Azo-bis-isobutyronitrile (AIBN), as initiator at 80°C for 8 h. The molar ratio of monomers was found to be 1 MAh:8 MMA using hydrolysis and titration. The molecular weight of co-polymer was determined to be of the order of 104 (g/mol) by gel permeation chromatography. The co-polymer was characterized using Fourier transform infrared and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Thermogravimetric analysis indicated the initial decomposition temperature was ~270°C. Differential scanning calorimetry indicated that the glass transition temperature was near 126°C.
Rectorite modified with benzyldimethyldodecylammonium chloride (OREC) was used as an additive to modify gel polymer electrolytes (GPEs) which consisted of P(MMA-MAh) used as a polymer matrix, propylene carbonate (PC) as a plasticizer and LiClO4 as the lithium ion source. X-ray diffraction analysis indicates that OREC can exfoliate well in GPEs when the amount of clay is suitable. The temperature dependence of the ionic conductivity of the resulting GPEs agreed well with the VTF (Vogel-Tamman-Fulcher) relation. OREC doses of 5 phr resulted in the greatest ionic conductivity. This OREC addition considerably improved the plasticized retention levels. As a consequence of OREC occupying the free volume space in the polymer matrix of GPEs, the bulk resistance of the GPEs was reduced and the glass transition temperature (Tg) increased.