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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2018 May 30;10(21):18327-18337. doi: 10.1021/acsami.8b03757. Epub 2018 May 16.

Anion Conductive Triblock Copolymer Membranes with Flexible Multication Side Chain.

Abstract

To achieve highly conductive and stable anion exchange membranes (AEMs) for fuel cells, novel triblock copolymer AEMs bearing flexible side chain were synthesized. The triblock structure and flexible side chain are responsible for the developed hydrophilic/hydrophobic phase separated morphology and well-connected ion conducting channels, as confirmed by transmission electron microscopy. As a result, the triblock copolymer AEMs with flexible side chain (ABA-TQA- x) demonstrated considerably higher conductivities, up to 130.5 mS cm-1 at 80 °C, than the AEMs with monocation side chain (ABA-MQA). Furthermore, the long alkyl spacer between the backbone and quaternary ammonium groups, as well as long intercation spacer limits the water swelling of the membranes to some degree, resulting in good alkaline stability. The ABA-TQA-44 membrane retained 84.7% and 83.1% of its original conductivity and ionic exchange capacity, respectively, after immersed in a 1 M aqueous KOH solution at 80 °C for 480 h. Furthermore, the peak power density of a H2/O2 single cell using ABA-TQA-44 is 204.6 mW cm-2 at a current density of 500 mA cm-2 at 80 °C.

KEYWORDS:

anion exchange membranes; flexible multication side chain; fuel cells; ion conduction; triblock copolymers

PMID:
29737165
DOI:
10.1021/acsami.8b03757

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