Proton-conducting aromatic polymers carrying hypersulfonated side chains for fuel cell applications

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Polysulfone main chains have been functionalized with hypersulfonated aromatic side chains where the sulfonic acid groups were highly concentrated on a local scale, with two acid groups placed on the same aromatic ring. This molecular design was implemented to promote the nanophase separation that takes place in proton-exchange membranes between the hydrophobic polymer main chain and the hydrophilic ionic groups responsible for the water uptake and conduction. Morphological investigations revealed that polysulfones functionalized with disulfonaphthoxybenzoyl or trisulfopyrenoxybenzoyl side chains contained larger and more uniform ionic clusters, as compared to conventionally sulfonated polysulfones where the acid groups are dispersed along the main chain. Membranes based on the polymers carrying hypersulfonated side chains formed efficient networks of water-filled nanopores upon hydration, which facilitated excellent levels of proton conductivity exceeding that of the commercial Nafion membrane at moderate water uptakes.

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Chemical Sciences

Keywords

  • Conductivity • Fuel cells • Membranes • Nanoporous materials • Polymers
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2823-2834
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Volume17
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Polymer and Materials Chemistry (LTH) (011001041)