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Facile one-step fabrication of sulfonated polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane cross-linked poly(ether ether ketone) for proton exchange membranes

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Abstract

A series of sulfonated polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS) cross-linked poly(ether ether ketone) hybrid membranes (C-PEEK-sPOSS) were facilely synthesized, for which the processes of sulfonation and cross-linking were achieved in one-step. The cross-linked hybrid C-PEEK-sPOSS membranes were fabricated using poly(ether ether ketone) with phenoxyl side groups (PEEK-OH), epoxy-POSS and 4-phenolsulfonic acid sodium via a nucleophilic addition reaction. Because the modified cross-linked structure contained a controllable degree of sulfonation and functionalized POSS, a good micro-phase separation for enhanced proton transport was observed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Furthermore, the cross-linked hybrid membranes were evaluated by the water uptake, proton conductivity, thermal properties, and so on. For example, C-PEEK-sPOSS-3 membranes possessed prominent properties, such as adequate thermal stability, superior mechanical properties and excellent oxidation resistance. Compared with Nafion 117, these membranes also exhibited higher proton conductivity (0.198 S cm−1 vs. 0.160 S cm−1), greater selectivity (67.03 × 104 Ss cm−3 vs. 4.19 × 104 Ss cm−3), lower methanol permeability (1.82 × 10−7 cm2 s−1 vs. 18.6 × 10−7 cm2 s−1), and low swelling ratio at 80 °C under fully hydrated conditions (28.4%). The single cell test exhibited superior current and power densities of 1.7 A cm−2 and 706 mW cm−2 at 80 °C, respectively.

Graphical abstract: Facile one-step fabrication of sulfonated polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane cross-linked poly(ether ether ketone) for proton exchange membranes

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Publication details

The article was received on 27 Apr 2018, accepted on 24 May 2018 and first published on 04 Jun 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8PY00650D
Citation: Polym. Chem., 2018, Advance Article
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    Facile one-step fabrication of sulfonated polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane cross-linked poly(ether ether ketone) for proton exchange membranes

    C. Liu, Z. Wu, Y. Xu, S. Zhang, C. Gong, Y. Tang, D. Sun, H. Wei and C. Shen, Polym. Chem., 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8PY00650D

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