The intrinsic ionic conductivity of polyethylene oxide (PEO)-based block copolymer electrolytes is often assumed to be identical to the conductivity of the PEO homopolymer. Here, we use high-field 7Li nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) relaxation and pulsed-field-gradient (PFG) NMR diffusion measurements to probe lithium ion dynamics over nanosecond and millisecond time scales in PEO and polystyrene (PS)-b-PEO-b-PS electrolytes containing the lithium salt LiTFSI. Variable-temperature longitudinal (T1) and transverse (T2) 7Li NMR relaxation rates were acquired at three magnetic field strengths and quantitatively analyzed for the first time at such fields, enabling us to distinguish two characteristic time scales that describe fluctuations of the 7Li nuclear electric quadrupolar interaction. Fast lithium motions [up to O(ns)] are essentially identical between the two polymer electrolytes, including sub-nanosecond vibrations and local fluctuations of the coordination polyhedra between lithium and nearby oxygen atoms. However, lithium dynamics over longer time scales [O(10 ns) and greater] are slower in the block copolymer compared to the homopolymer, as manifested experimentally by their different transverse 7Li NMR relaxation rates. Restricted dynamics and altered thermodynamic behavior of PEO chains anchored near PS domains likely explain these results.

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