A scientometric study of the research on ion exchange membranes†
A comprehensive scientometric approach was adopted to study the research on ion exchange membranes. The statistical analysis was conducted based on 21 123 publications which were related to the topic of ion exchange membranes. Specifically, from 2001 to 2016, over 18 000 articles were published on ion exchange membranes, indicating researchers' great interest in this topic. Especially, compared to 2001, the number of articles published in 2016 increased approximately six-fold. This trend continued in 2017 since over 2000 articles were published in the year of 2017. Also, these articles were spread across over 1000 different journals, near 100 countries/regions and over 5000 research institutes, revealing the importance of ion exchange membrane as well as the broad research interest in this field. Besides, the properties and applications of ion exchange membranes were also discussed statistically. Furthermore, keywords analysis indicated that fuel cell and proton exchange membrane had the highest cooccurrence frequency. Finally, research areas analysis revealed that ion exchange membranes had a close relation with chemistry, energy and materials.