Energy storage is at present one of the foremost issues society faces. However, material challenges now serve as bottlenecks in technological progress1. Lithium-ion batteries are the current gold standard to meet energy storage needs; however, they are limited owing to the inherent instability of liquid electrolytes1, 2. Block copolymers can self-assemble into nanostructures that simultaneously facilitate ion transport and provide mechanical stability. The ions themselves have a profound, yet previously unpredictable, effect on how these nanostructures assemble and thus the efficiency of ion transport3. Here we demonstrate that varying the charge of a block copolymer is a powerful mechanism to predictably tune nanostructures. In particular, we demonstrate that highly asymmetric charge cohesion effects can induce the formation of nanostructures that are inaccessible to conventional uncharged block copolymers, including percolated phases desired for ion transport. This vastly expands the design space for block copolymer materials and is informative for the versatile design of battery electrolyte materials.
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