Synthesis and characterization of multi-block poly(arylene ether sulfone) membranes with highly sulfonated blocks for use in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

Jinok Yuk, Sojeong Lee, Adam F. Nugraha, Hyejin Lee, Seok Hee Park, Sung Dae Yim, Byungchan Bae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We synthesized novel sulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone)s (SPAESs) multi-block copolymer membranes containing highly sulfonated hydrophilic blocks. Two different kinds of multi-block SPAESs sharing the same structure of hydrophobic blocks were proposed to investigate the membrane properties based on the effects of the hydrophilic blocks bearing sulfonic acids. The higher local concentration and acidity of the sulfonic acid groups in the hydrophilic block induced higher proton conductivity. The block SPAESs showed comparable proton conductivities to those of the state-of-the-art perfluorinated sulfonic acid (PFSA) membranes, and their transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images revealed a well-developed phase separation. In particular, the SPAES 4 X10Y10 membrane showed excellent proton conductivity, which was higher than that of the PFSA over the entire relative humidity (RH) range at 80 °C. Moreover, the multi-block SPAES membranes showed a comparable fuel cell performance to the Nafion membranes, even at 50% and 30% RH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-59
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Volume518
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2016

Keywords

  • Multi-block copolymer
  • Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell
  • Proton conductivity
  • Sulfonated(arylene ether sulfone)

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