4 years ago

Transparent Bipolar Membrane for Water Splitting Applications

Transparent Bipolar Membrane for Water Splitting Applications
Michael S. Freund, Sakineh Chabi, Steven Holdcroft, Andrew G. Wright
This study describes the use of a benzimidazolium-based anion exchange membrane for creating bipolar membranes and the assessment of their suitability for solar-driven water splitting. Bipolar membranes were prepared by laminating anion exchange membrane with Nafion NR-211 membrane without modification of the interface. Under acidic and basic conditions, proton and hydroxide ion conductivities of 103 and 102 mS cm–1 were obtained for Nafion and benzimidazolium-based membranes, respectively. The fabricated bipolar membranes have an average thickness of 90 μm and show high transmittance, up to 75% of the visible light. The findings suggest that the two membranes create a sharp hydrophilic interface with a space charge region of only a few nanometers, thereby generating a large electric field at the interface that enhances water dissociation.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.7b04402

DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b04402

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