Journal Article Small angle neutron scattering study on the morphology of imidazolium-based grafted anion-conducting fuel cell membranes

ザオ, ユエ  ,  吉村, 公男  ,  Hwan-ChulYu  ,  前川, 康成  ,  廣木, 章博  ,  Kishiyama, Yoshihiro  ,  Shishitani, Hideyuki  ,  Yamaguchi, Susumu  ,  Tanaka, Hirohisa  ,  Koizumi, Satoshi  ,  Marie-Sousai, Appavou  ,  Houston, Judith  ,  Radulescu, Aurel  ,  Richter, Dieter

2018-02 , Elsevier
Two imidazolium based graft-type of anion-conducting electrolyte membranes (AEMs) for fuel cells with a moderate ion exchange capacity of ∼1.0 mmol/g were successfully prepared by radiation-induced grafting to introduce imidazolium and styrene units into a poly(ethylene-co-tetrafluoroethylene) (ETFE) base film. Though imidazolium groups were desired to connect with styrene groups via two different ways, i.e. parallel or perpendicular orientations to the graft-polymer chains via copolymerization (AEM1) or homo-polymerization (AEM2), both AEMs possess high ion conductivity (>100 mS/cm at 60 °C) and modest stability. The morphologies of these membranes were elucidated by small-angle neutron scattering method. Our results revealed that 1) both AEMs show clear microphase separation with a length scale of 30–40 nm, and the semi-crystalline structural feature of the hydrophobic microdomains contributes to the membrane mechanical property; 2) at the length scale <6 nm, ionic structures of the two AEMs are different: Parallel type of AEM1 shows a homogeneous distribution of ions in the ion channel; while perpendicular type of AEM2 shows ionic clusters nanophase-separated from the graft polymers.

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