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Issue 14, 2018
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Anhydrous proton conduction in self-assembled and disassembled ionic molecules

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Abstract

In polymer based ionic conductors, the conductivity is suppressed by a low degree of chain mobility, therefore it is imperative to design a molecular system in which ionic groups can be mobilized and immobilized as a function of temperature to allow ions to move freely as well as in a controlled manner with a low energy barrier. Herein, we report an innovative approach to combine both the concepts of self-assembly and disassembly of the functionalized molecules to investigate anhydrous ionic (proton) conduction and related activation energy (Ea). For this purpose, organic proton conductors are designed in such a way that self-assembly of the molecules can occur via non-covalent interactions giving rise to an organized solid state in which ionic groups are held together via a network of hydrogen bonds. A new class of anhydrous ionic conductors with hydrophobic and hydrophilic counterparts namely alkyl chains and a phosphonic acid group, respectively, are investigated for fuel cell applications. The highest anhydrous proton conductivity of up to 10−2 S cm−1 at 140 °C is recorded for these ionic molecules. Thermal gravimetric analysis of these materials demonstrates their stability up to 190 °C and thereby their ability to perform at high temperature.

Graphical abstract: Anhydrous proton conduction in self-assembled and disassembled ionic molecules

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Publication details

The article was received on 12 Jan 2018, accepted on 03 Mar 2018 and first published on 05 Mar 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8TA00390D
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018,6, 6074-6084
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    Anhydrous proton conduction in self-assembled and disassembled ionic molecules

    A. Kumar, W. Pisula, C. Sieber, M. Klapper and K. Müllen, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, 6, 6074
    DOI: 10.1039/C8TA00390D

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