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Elucidating morphological aspects and proton dynamics in a hybrid perfluorosulfonic acid membrane for medium-temperature fuel cell applications

Abstract

A perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) membrane, i.e. Nafion® 117, was doped with the heteropoly salts (HPS), Cs3PW12O40, Rb3PW12O40, and (NH4)3PW12O40. A composite membrane with CsxH3-xPW12O40 (x=1, 2, and 3) as dopant rendered insoluble by substituting protons with larger cations was investigated. Morphological assessment and a detailed analysis of the hopping events in terms of SAXS measurement and analysis of hydrogen bond networks were performed using classical and quantum hopping molecular dynamics simulation. The phase segregation decreases by increasing in the extent of substitution of proton in HPA. The HPS with cation that has larger ionic radius induces smaller phase segregation in the membrane as confirmed by RDF plots. SAXS simulation reveals that the hydrophilic phase domains in the HPS doped Nafion® are spaced further apart than HPA doped membrane. Despite the greater isolated cluster for Cs3PW12O40 doped Nafion®, the average number of cluster decreases with increasing the substitution cation/proton ratio and with increasing the ionic radius of the cation. The analysis of H-bond network stability revealed that proton hops slower when the membrane contains the HPS particles and the mean residence time of a proton on water molecules increases with increasing the extent of proton substitution in H3PW12O40. Indeed, for HPA doped membrane, the diffusion of water molecules is lower than that of HPS doped system.

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Publication details

The article was received on 23 Aug 2018, accepted on 05 Nov 2018 and first published on 05 Nov 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8CP05377D
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Elucidating morphological aspects and proton dynamics in a hybrid perfluorosulfonic acid membrane for medium-temperature fuel cell applications

    S. Akbari, M. T. Hamed Mosavian, F. Moosavi and A. Ahmadpour, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8CP05377D

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