Synthesis and structure-property relationships of poly(sulfone)s for anion exchange membranes

Jingling Yan, Hunter D. Moore, Michael R. Hibbs, Michael Anthony Hickner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Membranes based on cationic polymers that conduct anions are important for enabling alkaline membrane fuel cells and other solid-state electrochemical devices that operate at high pH. Anion exchange membranes with poly(arylene ether sulfone) backbones are demonstrated by two routes: chloromethylation of commercially available poly(sulfone)s or radical bromination of benzylmethyl moieties in poly(sulfone)s containing tetramethylbisphenol A monomer residues. Polymers with tethered trimethylbenzyl ammonium moieties resulted from conversion of the halomethyl groups by quaternization with trimethyl amine. The water uptake of the chloromethylated polymers was dependent on the type of poly(sulfone) backbone for a given IEC. Bisphenol A-based Udel® poly(sulfone) membranes swelled in water to a large extent while membranes from biphenol-based Radel® poly(sulfone), a stiffer backbone than Udel, only showed moderate water uptake. The water uptake of cationic poly(sulfone)s was further reduced by synthesizing tetramethylbisphenol A and 4,4′-biphenol- containing poly(sulfone) copolymers where the ionic groups were clustered on the tetramethylbisphenol A residues. The conductivity of all samples scaled with the bulk water uptake. The hydration number of the membranes could be increased by casting membranes from the ionic form polymers versus converting the halomethyl form cast polymers to ionic form in the solid state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1790-1798
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics
Volume51
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 15 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry

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