Synthetic approaches for poly(phenylene) block copolymers via nickel coupling reaction for fuel cell applications

Adam F. Nugraha, Songmi Kim, Farid Wijaya, Byungchan Bae, Dongwon Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Several methods to synthesize poly(phenylene) block copolymers through the nickel coupling reaction were attempted to reduce the use of expensive nickel catalysts in polymerization. The model reaction for poly(phenylene) having different types of dichlorobenzene derivative monomers illustrated the potential use of cost-effective catalysts, such as NiBr2 and NiCl2, as alternatives to more expensive catalysts (e.g., bis(1,5-cyclooctadiene)nickel(0) (Ni(COD)2). By catalyzing the polymerization of multi-block poly(phenylene) with NiBr2 and NiCl2, random copolymers with similar molecular weights could be prepared. However, these catalysts did not result in a high-molecular-weight polymer, limiting their wide scale application. Further, the amount of Ni(COD)2 could be reduced in this study by approximately 50% to synthesize poly(phenylene) multi-block copolymers, representing significant cost savings. Gel permeation chromatography and nuclear magnetic resonance results showed that the degree of polymerization and ion exchange capacity of the copolymers were almost the same as those achieved through conventional polymerization using 2.5 times as much Ni(COD)2. The flexible quaternized membrane showed higher chloride ion conductivity than commercial Fumatech membranes with comparable water uptake and promising chemical stability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1614
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Anion-exchange membranes
  • Ion conductivity
  • Multi-block copolymer
  • Nickel coupling reaction
  • Poly(phenylene)


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