Ionogels (IGs) based on poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) and the metal-containing ionic liquids (ILs) bis-1-butyl-3-methlimidazolium tetrachloridocuprate(II), tetrachloride cobaltate(II), and tetrachlorido manganate(II) have been synthesized and their mechanical and electrical properties have been correlated with their microstructure. Unlike many previous examples, the current IGs show a decreasing stability in stress-strain experiments on increasing IL fractions. The conductivities of the current IGs are lower than those observed in similar examples in the literature. Both effects are caused by a two-phase structure with micrometer-sized IL-rich domains homogeneously dispersed an IL-deficient continuous PMMA phase. This study demonstrates that the IL-polymer miscibility and the morphology of the IGs are key parameters to control the (macroscopic) properties of IGs.
Keywords: ionic conductivity; ionic liquids; ionogels; mechanical properties; microstructure; phase separation.