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J Am Chem Soc. 2010 Mar 17;132(10):3400-4. doi: 10.1021/ja908638d.

Tunable high performance cross-linked alkaline anion exchange membranes for fuel cell applications.

Author information

  • 1Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Baker Laboratory, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853-1301, USA.

Abstract

Fuel cells are energy conversion devices that show great potential in numerous applications ranging from automobiles to portable electronics. However, further development of fuel cell components is necessary for them to become commercially viable. One component critical to their performance is the polymer electrolyte membrane, which is an ion conductive medium separating the two electrodes. While proton conducting membranes are well established (e.g., Nafion), hydroxide conducting membranes (alkaline anion exchange membranes, AAEMs) have been relatively unexplored by comparison. Operating under alkaline conditions offers significant efficiency benefits, especially for the oxygen reduction reaction; therefore, effective AAEMs could significantly advance fuel cell technologies. Here we demonstrate the use of ring-opening metathesis polymerization to generate new cross-linked membrane materials exhibiting high hydroxide ion conductivity and good mechanical properties. Cross-linking allows for increased ion incorporation, which, in turn supports high conductivities. This facile synthetic approach enables the preparation of cross-linked materials with the potential to meet the demands of hydrogen-powered fuel cells as well as direct methanol fuel cells.

PMID:
20178312
[PubMed]
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