Influence of chemical composition and sequence length on the transport properties of proton exchange membranes

Abhishek Roy, Michael A. Hickner, Xiang Yu, Yanxiang Li, Thomas E. Glass, James E. McGrath

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159 Citations (SciVal)


One of the integral parts of the fuel cell is the proton exchange membrane. Our research group has been engaged in the past few years in the synthesis of several sulfonated poly(arylene ether) random copolymers. The copolymers were varied in both the bisphenol structure as well as in the functional groups in the backbone such as sulfone and ketones. To compare the effect of sequence length, multiblock copolymers based on polyCarylene ether sulfone)s were synthesized. This paper aims to describe our investigation of the effect of chemical composition, morphology, and ion exchange capacity (IEC) on the transport properties of proton conducting membranes. The key properties examined were proton conductivity, methanol permeability, and water self diffusion coefficient in the membranes. It was observed that under fully hydrated conditions, proton conductivity for both random and block copolymers was a function of IEC and water uptake. However, under partially hydrated conditions, the block copolymers showed improved proton conductivity over the random copolymers. The proton conductivity for the block copolymer series was found to increase with increasing block lengths under partially hydrated conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2226-2239
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 15 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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