• poly(vinylidene fluoride);
  • silicas;
  • membranes;
  • ionomers;
  • ion exchangers


Organic–inorganic hybrid membranes of poly(vinylidene fluoride)-cohexafluoropropylene (PVDF-HFP) and silica composites containing sulfonic acid groups were prepared via in situ polymerization of tetraethoxysilane (TEOS) and sulfosuccinic acid (SSA) using the sol-gel process. The membranes containing more sulfonic acid groups showed a higher vapor sorption and greater swelling behavior. The bound and free water content of the membrane is proportional to the SSA concentration. However, the hybrid membranes without SSA do not have free water. The ion conductivity of the membranes is proportional to the SSA concentration. Silica content in the hybrid membrane without SSA had great effect on their mechanical properties. Tensile modulus and yield stress increased and yield strain and elongation at break decreased with increased silica content. However, in the case of the hybrid membrane containing SSA modulus, yield stress decreased and yield strain and elongation at break increased with increased silica content due to the weak interactions between the hydrophobic polymer chain and the hydrophilic group of SSA. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 93: 209–218, 2004