Elastomers refer to natural or synthetic amorphous polymers which exhibit elastic properties of rubber. Elastomers are able to deform under stress and return to its original state upon removal of stress. As elastomers exhibit glass transition temperatures (Tg) below room temperature (r.t.), elastomers are soft and rubbery at r.t, and segmental motion exists. Elastomers, which contain polar atoms, such as oxygen (O), fluorine (F) and nitrogen (N), can be suitably employed as matrices in polymer electrolytes (PEs). The electronegative atoms serve as electron donors and are able to coordinate with cations from inorganic salts to form a complex. Among elastomers that have been employed in PEs include modified and copolymerised polyisoprene or natural rubber, polyurethanes, and polysiloxanes. This chapter focuses on the progress of natural rubber and its derivatives in the field of polymer electrolytes, and discussesc their interactions with other components of the PEs and ion conduction. Area percentage of ionic species, as well as ion transport parameters, such as number density, mobility and diffusion coefficient of lithium ions as obtained from deconvolution of infrared (IR) spectra, are also discussed in this book chapter.
Part of the book: Elastomers