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Proton Conduction in PEMs: Complexity, Cooperativity and Connectivity

  • S. J. Paddison
Part of the Topics in Applied Physics book series (TAP, volume 113)

Introduction

The pursuit to develop improved high performance polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs) for fuel cells operating at temperatures above 100 °C has motivated extensive study of existing materials such as the archetypical perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) membrane Nafion® [1]. Central to both experimental and theoretical investigations of these ionomers have been efforts aimed at elucidating how protons move in these materials [2]. Although it is widely recognized that the proton conductivity of PFSA membranes is highly dependent on the water content, exactly how polymer chemistry and morphology determine proton conductivity is not understood.

As these polymers are composed of both hydrophilic (i.e. the sulfonic acid groups) and hydrophobic (typically the backbone) components, with the absorption of water these materials phase separate. The water and ions (both the hydrated protons and conjugate tethered sulfonate groups) coexist in regions of only a few nanometers in dimension and...

Keywords

Sulfonate Group Electronic Structure Calculation Sulfonic Acid Group Proton Diffusion Hydrated Proton 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. J. Paddison
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemical & Biomolecular EngineeringUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA 37996

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