Novel aromatic polymers bearing polar pyridine units in the main chain and side chain crosslinkable hydroxyl and propargyl groups have been successfully synthesized. The polymers have been investigated in terms of their critical properties related to their application in high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, such as doping ability, mechanical properties, and thermal stability. Crosslinked membranes were prepared by direct crosslinking of hydroxyl side chain groups with decafluorobiphenyl used for the first time as a crosslinking agent. However, further functionalization of hydroxyl groups to the propargyl derivative has also led to crosslinked polymers after thermal curing. Both types of crosslinked membranes exhibited higher glass transition temperatures as well as lower doping levels when doped in phosphoric acid compared with the non crosslinked analogs, confirming the formation of a successfully crosslinked network. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem, 2012
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