Colloid and Polymer Science

, Volume 296, Issue 11, pp 1891–1903 | Cite as

Sulfonated fluorinated block copolymer containing naphthalene unit/sulfonated polyvinylidene-co-hexafluoropropylene/functionalized silicon dioxide ternary composite membrane for low-humidity fuel cell applications

  • Ae Rhan KimEmail author
  • Jane Cathleen Gabunada
  • Dong Jin YooEmail author
Original Contribution


A ternary composite membrane, composed of a sulfonated fluorinated block copolymer containing naphthalene unit (SFBCN), sulfonated polyvinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene (SPVdF-HFP), and functionalized silicon dioxide (FSiO2), was fabricated via a simple solution casting method for use as a suitable proton exchange membrane in low-humidity fuel cells. The morphological and structural characterizations verify the successful formation of the ternary composite membrane. TGA and DSC analyses revealed the suitability of the materials for fuel cell applications. The increased water uptake, IEC, and proton conductivity values with increasing hydrophilicity of membranes were obtained by thorough measurements. The fabricated ternary composite membrane containing 10 wt% FSiO2 exhibited a superior proton conductivity (12.3 mS/cm) under dehydrated conditions (90 °C at 40% RH) over the Nafion 117 (7.8 mS/cm) membrane, while at 90 °C at 100% RH, it exhibited a comparable H+ conductivity (93.1 mS/cm) to Nafion 117 (112 mS/cm) membrane.

Graphical abstract


Composite membrane Low humidity Hygroscopic filler Microphase separation Conducting pathways 



This work was supported by the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) and the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE) of the Republic of Korea (No. 20184030202210). The Basic Science Research Program supported this research through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning (No. 2017R1A2B4005230).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Bioenvironmental Chemistry and R&D Center for CANUTECH, Business Incubation CenterChonbuk National UniversityJeonjuRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Graduate School, Department of Energy Storage/Conversion Engineering, Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research CenterChonbuk National UniversityJeonjuRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of Life ScienceChonbuk National UniversityJeonjuRepublic of Korea

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