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Beneficial use of rotatable-spacer side-chains in alkaline anion exchange membranes for fuel cells

Zhu, Yuan, Ding, Liang, Liang, Xian, Shehzad, Muhammad A., Wang, Lianqin, Ge, Xiaolin, He, Yubin, Wu, Liang, Varcoe, John R and Xu, Tongwen (2018) Beneficial use of rotatable-spacer side-chains in alkaline anion exchange membranes for fuel cells Energy & Environmental Science, 11 (12). pp. 3472-3479.

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Side-chain-type polymer architectures have been extensively studied for development of highly conductive fuel cell membranes. However, the commonly used rigid, hydrophobic spacers (between the ionic end-group and polymer backbone) limit self-assembly of ionic side-chains and, therefore, ion transport. Herein, we report a flexible, hydrophilic side-chain-type anion exchange membrane (AEM), where ethylene oxide spacers are incorporated into imidazolium-containing cationic side-chains. AFM and SAXS analysis confirm that the flexible spacers facilitate self-assembly of the ionic side-chains to form continuous conducting channels. Most importantly, both in situ FTIR spectroscopy and molecular dynamic theory simulations indicate that the ethylene oxide spacers are capable of hydrogen bonding to both H2O molecules and hydrated OH− ions. This unique auxiliary function facilitates both ion and H2O transport during fuel cell operation. The resultant AEM exhibits a peak power density of 437 mW cm−2 at 65 °C when tested in a H2/O2 single-cell anion-exchange membrane fuel cell, which is among the highest reported for comparable side-chain-type AEMs.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Chemistry
Authors :
Zhu, Yuan
Ding, Liang
Liang, Xian
Shehzad, Muhammad A.
Ge, Xiaolin
He, Yubin
Wu, Liang
Varcoe, John
Xu, Tongwen
Date : 9 October 2018
DOI : 10.1039/C8EE02071J
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright 2018 Royal Society of Chemistry
Depositing User : Melanie Hughes
Date Deposited : 30 Nov 2018 15:23
Last Modified : 10 Oct 2019 02:08

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