417289 Anhydrous Proton Conducting Polymer Electrolyte Membranes Via Polymerization-Induced Microphase Separation

Wednesday, November 11, 2015: 4:15 PM
251B (Salt Palace Convention Center)
Sujay A. Chopade, Department of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, Timothy P. Lodge, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and Department of Chemistry, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN and Marc A. Hillmyer, Chemistry, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Fuel cells utilizing proton conducting block polymer electrolytes could enable high-temperature, anhydrous operation. However, the performance of nanostructured block polymer electrolytes has been limited by poor mechanical stability and network defects in the conducting pathways. Here, we present the in-situ preparation of robust cross-linked polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs) incorporating protic ionic liquids into one of the domains of a microphase-separated block copolymer. The facile design strategy involves reversible addition-fragmentation chain-transfer polymerization (RAFT) from a poly(ethylene oxide) RAFT chain transfer agent with styrene and cross-linkable divinylbenzene in the presence of a protic ionic liquid. The resulting transparent and robust PEMs exhibit a bi-continuous network morphology comprising poly(ethylene oxide)/protic ionic liquid conducting nanochannels and a cross-linked mechanical polystyrene scaffold. Long-range continuity of the conducting and mechanical domains result in excellent performance of the PEM with high mechanical and thermal stability. Furthermore, the elastic modulus approaches 10 MPa, with a high ionic conductivity of 15 mS/cm at 180 °C. This approach is very promising for scalable development and commercialization of PEMs for high-temperature fuel cell technologies.

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See more of this Session: Polymers for Energy Storage and Conversion
See more of this Group/Topical: Materials Engineering and Sciences Division