Novel conductive polyanionic polymers and methods for their preparation are provided. The polyanionic polymers comprise repeating units of weakly-coordinating anionic groups chemically linked to polymer chains. The polymer chains in turn comprise repeating spacer groups. Spacer groups can be chosen to be of length and structure to impart desired electrochemical and physical properties to the polymers. Preferred embodiments are prepared from precursor polymers comprising the Lewis acid borate tri-coordinated to a selected ligand and repeating spacer groups to form repeating polymer chain units. These precursor polymers are reacted with a chosen Lewis base to form a polyanionic polymer comprising weakly coordinating anionic groups spaced at chosen intervals along the polymer chain. The polyanionic polymers exhibit high conductivity and physical properties which make them suitable as solid polymeric electrolytes in lithium batteries, especially secondary lithium batteries.
 Financial assistance for this project was provided by U.S. Government through the National Science Foundation under Grant Number CHE-9808678 and the Department of Energy under Grant Nos. DEFG0393ER14378-003 and DEFG0395ER45541. Therefore the United States Government may own certain rights to this invention.