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Highly Conductive and Stabilized Side-chain-type Anion Exchange Membranes: Ideal Alternatives For Alkaline Fuel Cells Applications

Abstract

Side-chain-type (SC) anion exchange membranes (AEMs) with pendant quaternary ammonium (QA) groups anchored onto backbones via a six-carbon spacer demonstrate superior alkaline resistance. Yet, the conventional SC AEMs own QA functionalized side chains randomly spreading onto the backbone, resulting in insufficient QA aggregation. Herein, we attempted to enhance QA collection of SC AEMs by gathering the alkyl chains terminated by QA groups along the backbone or the grafting chain on the molecular level to gain dense or long SC configurations (termed as D-SC and L-SC). The coarse-grained molecular dynamics (CGMD) simulation reveals that D-SC and L-SC architectures are much more beneficial for promoting the formation of desired long-range OH- transmit channels compared with SC architectures, thereby leading to strikingly increasing OH- conductivities. Especially, the D-SC AEM (IEC = 2.41 mmol/g) with a limited water uptake of 30.4% shows a quite high hydroxide conductivity of 0.058 S/cm at 30 oC. The H2-O2 alkaline anion exchange membrane fuel cell using D-SC as ionomers gives rise to an exceptional peak power density of 683 mW/cm2 at 80 oC. Long-term alkaline aging measurements indicate that D-SC and L-SC AEMs still preserve the advantages of typical SC AEMs in the aspect of alkaline tolerance. We thus believe the molecular design opinions reported here can be appreciated as versatile strategies in the development of highly conductive and alkaline stabilized AEMs for the electrochemical associated applications.

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Publication details

The article was received on 19 Jun 2018, accepted on 06 Aug 2018 and first published on 06 Aug 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8TA05876H
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Highly Conductive and Stabilized Side-chain-type Anion Exchange Membranes: Ideal Alternatives For Alkaline Fuel Cells Applications

    J. Ran, L. Din, C. Chu, X. Liang, T. Pan, D. yu and T. Xu, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8TA05876H

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