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  1. Ionic liquid mixed with poly(methyl methacrylate)-grafted nanoparticle aggregates at low particle concentrations was shown to exhibit different dynamics and ionic conductivity than that of pure ionic liquid in our previous studies. In this work, we report on the quasi-elastic neutron scattering results on ionic liquid containing polymer-grafted nanoparticles at the higher particle concentration. The diffusivity of imidazolium (HMIM + ) cations of 1-hexyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide (HMIM-TFSI) in the presence of poly(methyl methacrylate)-grafted iron oxide nanoparticles and the ionic conductivity of solutions were discussed through the confinement. Analysis of the elastic incoherent structure factor suggested the confinement radius decreased with the addition of grafted particles in HMIM-TFSI/solvent mixture, indicating the confinement that is induced by the high concentration of grafted particles, shrinks the HMIM-TFSI restricted volume. We further conjecture that this enhanced diffusivity occurs as a result of the local ordering of cations within aggregates of poly(methyl methacrylate)-grafted particles.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 8, 2023
  2. The molecular morphology and dynamics of conjugated polymers in the bulk solid state play a significant role in determining macroscopic charge transport properties. To understand this relationship, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and quantum mechanical calculations are used to evaluate local electronic properties. In this work, we investigate the importance of system and simulation parameters, such as force fields and equilibration methods, when simulating amorphous poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT), a model semiconducting polymer. An assessment of MD simulations for five different published P3HT force fields is made by comparing results to experimental wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) and to a broad range of quasi-elastic neutron scattering (QENS) data. Moreover, an in silico analysis of force field parameters reveals that atomic partial charges and torsion potentials along the backbone and side chains have the greatest impact on structure and dynamics related to charge transport mechanisms in P3HT.