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Ionic liquid gels (ILGs) were generated via a free radical copolymerization of 2-acrylamido-2-methyl-1-propanesulfonic acid (AMPS) and N,N′-methylenebis(acrylamide) (MBA) using 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium ethylsulfate [EMIM][EtSO4] as a room temperature ionic liquid (RTIL) solvent medium. The AMPS and MBA solubility window in [EMIM][EtSO4] at 65 °C, which was also the cure temperature of the ILGs with potassium persulfate (PPS) as the free radical initiator, was determined. In-situ attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy showed near complete conversion of carbon-carbon double bonds (C=C) of the monomers to a cross-linked polymer network. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed that a few ILG formulations contained possible phase separated regions. The glass transition temperature of the resultant ILG formulations (Tg,ILG), elastic modulus in compression (EC), and conductivity (σ) were determined via dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), quasi-static mechanical analysis, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, respectively. Utilizing gravimetric analysis in excess RTIL and the calculation of the apparent molecular weight between cross-links (MC) via EC results, the polymer-solvent interaction parameter (χ) was determined via a modified version of the Bray and Merrill equation.
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