Influence of sulfone linkage on the stability of aromatic quaternary ammonium polymers for alkaline fuel cells

Alina Amel, Liang Zhu, Michael Hickner, Yair Ein-Eli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

The properties and stability of quaternary ammonium poly(sulfone) QA-RADEL and quaternary ammonium poly(phenylene oxide) QA-PPO were investigated. These two membranes have a major difference in their backbone structure where QA-RADEL contains an electron-withdrawing group and QA-PPO is an ether-based backbone without electron-withdrawing group in the main chain. Conductivity, thickness and swelling measurments were examined at various temperatures for both types of samples. HRSEM and FTIR analysis indicated that QA-RADEL membrane degraded much faster than QA-PPO under high temperature and high pH conditions. QA-RADEL showed degradation at both the cationic groups and the polymer backbone after 150 h at 60°C, while QA-PPO showed degradation merely at the cationic groups after aging for 1000 h at 60°C, under high pH conditions. The sulfone linkage has a profound negative influence on the thermal and alkaline stability of the membrane, which provides design rules for future high-stability AEMs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)F615-F621
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Volume161
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrochemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

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