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Fully Aromatic Block Copolymers for Fuel Cell Membranes with Densely Sulfonated Nanophase Domains

Authors

  • Shogo Takamuku,

    1. Polymer and Materials Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Lund University, P.O. Box 124, SE-221 00, Lund, Sweden
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  • Patric Jannasch

    Corresponding author
    1. Polymer and Materials Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Lund University, P.O. Box 124, SE-221 00, Lund, Sweden
    • Polymer and Materials Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Lund University, P.O. Box 124, SE-221 00, Lund, Sweden. Fax: (+46)-46-222 4012.
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Abstract

Two multiblock copoly(arylene ether sulfone)s with similar block lengths and ion exchange capacities (IECs) were prepared by a coupling reaction between a non-sulfonated precursor block and a highly sulfonated precursor block containing either fully disulfonated diarylsulfone or fully tetrasulfonated tetraaryldisulfone segments. The latter two precursor blocks were sulfonated via lithiation-sulfination reactions whereby the sulfonic acid groups were exclusively placed in ortho positions to the many sulfone bridges, giving these blocks IECs of 4.1 and 4.6 meq·g−1, respectively. Copolymer membranes with IECs of 1.4 meq·g−1 displayed well-connected hydrophilic nanophase domains and had decomposition temperatures at, or above, 300 °C under air. The copolymer with the tetrasulfonated tetraaryldisulfone segments showed a proton conductivity of 0.13 S·cm−1 at 80 °C under fully humidified conditions, and surpassed that of a perfluorosulfonic acid membrane (NRE212) by a factor of 5 at –20 °C over time.

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