Highly Fluorinated Comb-Shaped Copolymers as Proton Exchange Membranes (PEMs): Improving PEM Properties Through Rational Design

Authors

  • T. B. Norsten,

    1. Institute for Chemical Process and Environmental Technology, National Research Council of Canada, 1200 Montreal Road, Ottawa, ON K1A 0R6, Canada
    2. Present address: Xerox Research Center of Canada, 2660 Speakman Drive, Mississauga, Ontario L5K 2L1, Canada
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  • M. D. Guiver,

    1. Institute for Chemical Process and Environmental Technology, National Research Council of Canada, 1200 Montreal Road, Ottawa, ON K1A 0R6, Canada
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  • J. Murphy,

    1. Institute for Chemical Process and Environmental Technology, National Research Council of Canada, 1200 Montreal Road, Ottawa, ON K1A 0R6, Canada
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  • T. Astill,

    1. Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation, National Research Council, 3250 East Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1W5, Canada
    2. Department of Chemistry, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada
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  • T. Navessin,

    1. Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation, National Research Council, 3250 East Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1W5, Canada
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  • S. Holdcroft,

    1. Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation, National Research Council, 3250 East Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1W5, Canada
    2. Department of Chemistry, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada
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  • B. L. Frankamp,

    1. Department of Chemistry, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA
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  • V. M. Rotello,

    1. Department of Chemistry, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA
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  • J. Ding

    1. Institute for Chemical Process and Environmental Technology, National Research Council of Canada, 1200 Montreal Road, Ottawa, ON K1A 0R6, Canada
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  • NRCC Publication number 47874. This work was financially supported by the NRC Fuel Cell program; the MRSEC program at U. Mass. (DMR-0213695) is acknowledged for instrumentation. The authors are grateful to Dashan Wang for TEM analysis and Dr. Mike Day for his valuable assistance. T. B. N. is indebted to Roy Shenhar for helpful discussions. Supporting Information is available online from Wiley InterScience or from the author.

Abstract

A new class of comb-shaped polymers for use as a proton conducting membrane is presented. The polymer is designed to combine the beneficial physical, chemical, and structural attributes of fluorinated Nafion-like materials with higher-temperature, polyaromatic-based polymer backbones. The comb-shaped polymer unites a rigid, polyaromatic, hydrophobic backbone with lengthy hydrophilic polymer side chains; this combination affords direct control over the polymer nanostructure within the membrane and results in distinct microphase separation between the opposing domains. The microphase separation serves to compartmentalize water into the hydrophilic polymer side chain domains, resulting in effective membrane water management and excellent proton conductivities.

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