This study concerns a comparative study of three crosslinkers, divinylbenzene (DVB), 1,2-bis(p,p-vinylphenyl)ethane (BVPE), and triallyl cyanurate (TAC) crosslinked poly(ethylene-co-tetrafluoroethylene) (ETFE)-based radiation-grafted membranes, which were prepared by radiation grafting of p-methylstyrene onto ETFE films and subsequent sulfonation. The effect of the different types and contents of the crosslinkers on the grafting and sulfonation, and the properties such as water uptake, proton conductivity, and thermal/chemical stability of the resulting polymer electrolyte membranes were investigated in detail. Introducing crosslink structure into the radiation-grafted membranes leads to a decrease in proton conductivity due to the decrease in water uptake. The thermal stability of the crosslinked radiation-grafted membranes is also somewhat lower than that of the noncrosslinked one. However, the crosslinked radiation-grafted membranes show significantly higher chemical stability characterized in the 3% H2O2 at 50°C. Among the three crosslinkers, the DVB shows a most pronounced efficiency on the crosslinking of the radiation-grafted membranes, while the TAC has no significant influence; the BVPE is a mild and effective crosslinker, showing the moderate influence between the DVB and TAC crosslinkers. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 100: 4565–4574, 2006
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