Toward improved conductivity of sulfonated aromatic proton exchange membranes at low relative humidity

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1021/cm801198d
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TypeArticle
Journal titleChemistry of Materials
Volume20
Pages56365642; # of pages: 7
AbstractThree sulfonated aromatic polymers with different sequence lengths were studied in order to better understand the relationship between molecular structure, morphology, and properties of proton exchange membranes as a function of relative humidity. A random copolymer with a statistical distribution of sulfonic acid groups had very small domain sizes, whereas an alternating polymer with sulfonic acid groups spaced evenly along the polymer chain was found to have larger, but quite isolated, domains. The multiblock copolymer studied herein showed highly phase-separated hydrophilic and hydrophobic domains, with good long-range connectivity. Scanning force microscopy as a function of relative humidity was used to observe water absorption and swelling of the hydrophilic domains in each of the three membranes. The conductivity, water sorption kinetics, and fuel cell performance, especially at low relative humidity, were found to be highly dependent upon the morphology. The multiblock copolymer outperformed both the random and alternating systems at 100 °C and 40% RH fuel cell operating conditions and showed similar performance to Nafion.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada; NRC Institute for Chemical Process and Environmental Technology
Peer reviewedNo
NRC number49152
NPARC number8926044
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Record identifierdad8706a-6ff6-40e3-bbd3-4eb93af12a95
Record created2009-04-23
Record modified2016-05-09
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