Nanostructured Aromatic Polymer Electrolytes for PEMFC : Structure-morphology-property interplay

Abstract : Aromatic ionomers are considered as a promising alternative to Nafion for PEMFCs due to their good oxidative stability, excellent thermomechanical properties, and low cost, etc. Most sulfonated aromatic ionomers reported over the past decades, however, show lower performance than that of Nafion. With similar ion-exchange capacity (IEC), on one hand, aromatic ionomers are much less conductive than Nafion, notably at low relative humidity. Aromatic ionomers with sufficient IEC to give equivalent conduction to that of Nafion, on the other hand, exhibit excessively swelling behavior in water. The shortcomings of sulfonated aromatic ionomers derive from (i) the random distribution of acidic groups on rigid polymer backbone leading to poor hydrophilic-hydrophobic separation, (ii) the proximity of proton-conducting moieties to the polymer main chain resulting in low nanostructure of ionic clusters, and (iii) the low acidity of aryl sulfonic acid. With the aim of overcoming these drawbacks, my PhD work focuses on developing new aromatic ionomers with improved morphology and properties via molecular architecture design, in combination with optimized membrane processing condition. Based on this objective, two series of aromatic ionomers based on partially-fluorinated multi-block copoly(arylene ether sulfone)s bearing pendant perfluorosulfonic acid (InX/Y series) or perfluorosulfonimide (SiX/Y series) side chains have been developed and characterized. Moreover, PEMs based on Nafion/InX/Y blend have also been focused. Much attention has been paid to optimizing the membrane processing condition and elucidating the structure-morphology-property relation in these materials.
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Huu-Dat Nguyen. Nanostructured Aromatic Polymer Electrolytes for PEMFC : Structure-morphology-property interplay. Mechanics of materials [physics.class-ph]. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017GREAI014⟩. ⟨tel-02177726⟩

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