3 years ago

Synthesis of highly proton-conductive poly(arylene ether sulfone) bearing perfluoroalkyl sulfonic acids via polymer post-modification

Synthesis of highly proton-conductive poly(arylene ether sulfone) bearing perfluoroalkyl sulfonic acids via polymer post-modification
Proton exchange membranes (PEMs) are key materials in PEM fuel cells (PEMFCs), and play a key role in battery performance. Herein, a versatile and facile synthetic approach to aromatic-based polymer bearing perfluoroalkyl sulfonic acid groups via polymer post-modification (PPM) is described. Characterization of the desired aromatic-based ionomer has been carefully carried out by 1H, 19F NMR and FT-IR. Tough, flexible, and transparent membrane with ion exchange capacity (IEC) value of 1.78 mequiv g−1 is obtained by solution casting, exhibit excellent thermal stability, mechanical properties and moderate oxidative stability. Morphology observation by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) reveals that the title membrane holds highly hydrophilic/hydrophobic phase-separation and hydrophilic domains partly connect to each other, which is similar to that of the benchmark perfluorosulfonic acid ionomers (e.g., Nafion). Meanwhile, the membrane have a higher water uptake (58.6%) and swelling ratio (23.9%) compared to Nafion (27.1%, 12.9%, respectively) in hydrated state at 60 °C. Furthermore, the aromatic-based polymer bearing perfluoroalkyl sulfonic acids show higher proton conductivity comparable to that of Nafion under full hydrated conditions in the range of tested temperatures. Single cell tests have shown that the membrane has a moderate fuel cell performance with maximum power density of 300 mW/cm−2 at 40 °C and 80% RH, 400 mW/cm−2 at 60 °C and 80% RH.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0032386117307048

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