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Title: Embedding of hollow polymer microspheres with hydrophilic shell in Nafion matrix as proton and water micro-reservoir
Authors: Guo, B.
Tay, S.W.
Liu, Z.
Hong, L. 
Keywords: Composite membrane
Hollow polymer microspheres
Keeping moisture
PEM Fuel Cell
Issue Date: 2012
Citation: Guo, B., Tay, S.W., Liu, Z., Hong, L. (2012). Embedding of hollow polymer microspheres with hydrophilic shell in Nafion matrix as proton and water micro-reservoir. Polymers 4 (3) : 1499-1516. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Assimilating hydrophilic hollow polymer spheres (HPS) into Nafion matrix by a loading of 0.5 wt % led to a restructured hydrophilic channel, composed of the pendant sulfonic acid groups (-SO 3H) and the imbedded hydrophilic hollow spheres. The tiny hydrophilic hollow chamber was critical to retaining moisture and facilitating proton transfer in the composite membranes. To obtain such a tiny cavity structure, the synthesis included selective generation of a hydrophilic polymer shell on silica microsphere template and the subsequent removal of the template by etching. The hydrophilic HPS (100-200 nm) possessed two different spherical shells, the styrenic network with pendant sulfonic acid groups and with methacrylic acid groups, respectively. By behaving as microreservoirs of water, the hydrophilic HPS promoted the Grotthus mechanism and, hence, enhanced proton transport efficiency through the inter-sphere path. In addition, the HPS with the -SO 3H borne shell played a more effective role than those with the -CO 2H borne shell in augmenting proton transport, in particular under low humidity or at medium temperatures. Single H 2-PEMFC test at 70 °C using dry H 2/O 2 further verified the impactful role of hydrophilic HPS in sustaining higher proton flux as compared to pristine Nafion membrane. © 2012 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
Source Title: Polymers
ISSN: 20734360
DOI: 10.3390/polym4031499
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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