Journal of Power Sources, Vol.195, No.13, 3990-3995, 2010
Preparation and characterization of self-crosslinked organic/inorganic proton exchange membranes
A series of silicon-containing sulfonated polystyrene/acrylate (Si-sPS/A) nanoparticles are successfully synthesized via simple emulsion polymerization method. The Si-sPS/A latexes show good film-forming capability and the self-crosslinked organic/inorganic proton exchange membranes are prepared by pouring the Si-sPS/A nanoparticle latexes into glass plates and drying at 60 degrees C for 10 h and 120 degrees C for 2 h. The potential of the membranes in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) is characterized preliminarily by studying their thermal stability, ion-exchange capacity, water uptake, methanol diffusion coefficient, proton conductivity and selectivity (proton conductivity/methanol diffusion coefficient). The results indicate that these membranes possess excellent thermal stability and methanol barrier due to the existence of self-crosslinked silica network. In addition, the proton conductivity of the membranes is in the range of 10(-3)-10(-2)S cm(-1) and all the membranes show much higher selectivity in comparison with Nafion (R) 117. These results suggest that the self-crosslinked organic/inorganic proton exchange membranes are particularly promising in DMFC applications. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.