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Issue 1, 2012
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A new class of highly-conducting polymer electrolyte membranes: Aromatic ABA triblock copolymers

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Abstract

Highly proton-conducting polymer electrolyte membrane (PEMs) materials are presented as alternatives to state-of-the-art perfluorinated polymers such as Nafion®. To achieve stable PEMs with efficient ionic nanochannels, novel fully aromatic ABA triblock copolymers (SP3O-b-PAES-b-SP3O) based on sulfonated poly(2,6-diphenyl-1,4-phenylene oxide)s (A, SP3O) and poly(arylene ether sulfone)s (B, PAES) were synthesized. This molecular design for a PEM was implemented to promote the nanophase separation between the hydrophobic polymer chain and hydrophilic ionic groups, and thus to form well-connected hydrophilic nanochannels that are responsible for the water uptake and proton conduction. Relative to other hydrocarbon-based PEMs, the triblock copolymer membranes showed a dramatic enhancement in proton conductivity under partially hydrated conditions, and superior thermal, oxidative and hydrolytic stabilities, suggesting that they have the potential to be utilized as alternative materials in applications operating under partly hydrated environments.

Graphical abstract: A new class of highly-conducting polymer electrolyte membranes: Aromatic ABA triblock copolymers

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Publication details

The article was received on 02 Sep 2011, accepted on 06 Oct 2011 and first published on 03 Nov 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1EE02556B
Citation: Energy Environ. Sci., 2012,5, 5346-5355
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    A new class of highly-conducting polymer electrolyte membranes: Aromatic ABA triblock copolymers

    N. Li, S. Y. Lee, Y. Liu, Y. M. Lee and M. D. Guiver, Energy Environ. Sci., 2012, 5, 5346
    DOI: 10.1039/C1EE02556B

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