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Issue 4, 2002
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Nafion-bifunctional silica composite proton conductive membranes

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Sol–gel derived sulfonated phenethylsilica with hydrophilic –Si-OH and proton conductive –SO3H functional groups was used as a bifunctional additive to improve the proton conductivity and water uptake characteristics of Nafion. Nafion-bifunctional silica (NBS) composite membranes were prepared by casting Nafion–ethanol solutions mixed with sulfonated phenethylsilica sol. The ion exchange capability of NBS composite membranes increases linearly with the amount of bifunctional silica incorporated, and is about 1.9 × 10−3 mol SO3H g−1 for NBS with 7.5 wt% silica. Liquid water uptake measurements showed that NBS composite membranes have higher water uptake (g H2O g−1 composite membrane) than bare recast Nafion while the degree of hydration (i.e., nH2O–SO3H) remains fairly constant. The NBS composite membranes showed improved proton conductivity when compared with bare recast Nafion and Nafion 117 membranes at 80 °C and over a range of relative humidity.

Graphical abstract: Nafion-bifunctional silica composite proton conductive membranes

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The article was received on 20 Aug 2001, accepted on 04 Jan 2002 and first published on 01 Mar 2002

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B107498A
Citation: J. Mater. Chem., 2002,12, 834-837
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    Nafion-bifunctional silica composite proton conductive membranes

    H. Wang, B. A. Holmberg, L. Huang, Z. Wang, A. Mitra, J. M. Norbeck and Y. Yan, J. Mater. Chem., 2002, 12, 834
    DOI: 10.1039/B107498A

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