Proton-conducting Organic-inorganic Sulfo-containing Membranes for Fuel Cell




proton conductive membrane, organic-inorganic nanocomposite, sulfo-containing monomer, sol-gel method, impedance spectroscopy


Cross-linked organiс-inorganic sulfo-containing membranes of various compositions based on acrylic monomers (acrylonitrile, acrylic acid, 3-sulfopropylacrylate potassium salt, ethylene glycol diacrylate) and sol-gel systems of tetraethoxysilane have been developed. Synthesis of the polymer matrix was carried out by UV-initiated polymerization of the monomer mixture and the inorganic component was formed in situ while conducting the sol-gel process of the precursor. FTIR, SEM, EDS, DMA, impedance spectroscopy were used to characterize the synthesized materials. The influence of inorganic component content on the properties of the membranes was investigated. DMA results show that an increase in silica content leads to a decrease in packing density and an increase in structural heterogeneity in sulfo-containing polyacrylate/silica membranes. The highest values of proton conductivity 1.12 ꞏ 10−2 Sm/cm at 60 °C were found in membranes containing 3 wt.%. of the added sol-gel system. Further increase of silica content does not increase the proton conductivity of the membranes. The proton transfer activation energies in the membranes were calculated from the temperature dependence of proton conductivity. The obtained cross-linked sulfo-containing organic-inorganic materials can be used for the development of proton-conducting membranes for fuel cells.