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Bulletin of the Korean Chemical Society (BKCS)

ISSN 0253-2964(Print)
ISSN 1229-5949(Online)
Volume 34, Number 6
BKCSDE 34(6)
June 20, 2013 

Highly Sulfonated Poly(Arylene Biphenylsulfone Ketone) Block Copolymers Prepared via Post-Sulfonation for Proton Conducting Electrolyte Membranes
Kyu Ha Lee, Ji Young Chu, Ae Rhan Kim, Kee Suk Nahm, Dong Jin Yoo*
Proton exchange membrane, Post-sulfonation, Thermal stability, Ion conductivity, Morphology
A series of the block copolymers were successfully synthesized from post-sulfonated hydrophilic and hydrophobic macromers via three-step copolymerization. The degrees of sulfonation (DS) of the copolymers (10%, 30%, or 50%) were controlled by changing the molar ratio of the hydrophilic and hydrophobic parts. The resulting block copolymers were characterized by 1H NMR and other technologies. The membranes were successfully cast using dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) solution at 100 oC. The copolymers were characterized to confirm chemical structure by 1H NMR and FT-IR. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) demonstrated that all sulfonated block copolymers exhibited good thermal stability with an initial weight loss at temperatures above 240 oC. The membranes showed acceptable ion exchange capacity (IEC) and water uptake values in accordance with DS. The maximum proton conductivity was 184 mS cm−1 in block copolymer-50 at 60 oC and 100% relative humidity, while the conductivity of Nifion- 115 was 160 mS cm−1 under the same measurement conditions. AFM images of the block copolymer membranes showed well separated the hydrophilic and hydrophobic domains. From the observed results it is that the prepared block membranes can be considered as suitable polymer electrolyte membranes for the application of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC).
1763 - 1770
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