Sulfonated polyimide/acid-functionalized graphene oxide composite polymer electrolyte membranes with improved proton conductivity and water-retention properties

Ravi P. Pandey, Amit K. Thakur, Vinod K. Shahi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations

Abstract

Sulfonated polyimide (SPI)/sulfonated propylsilane graphene oxide (SPSGO) was assessed to be a promising candidate for polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs). Incorporation of multifunctionalized (-SO3H and -COOH) SPSGO in SPI matrix improved proton conductivity and thermal, mechanical, and chemical stabilities along with bound water content responsible for slow dehydration of the membrane matrix. The reported SPSGO/SPI composite PEM was designed to promote internal self-humidification, responsible for water-retention properties, and to promote proton conduction, due to the presence of different acidic functional groups. Strong hydrogen bonding between multifunctional groups thus led to the presence of interconnected hydrophobic graphene sheets and organic polymer chains, which provides hydrophobic-hydrophilic phase separation and suitable architecture of proton-conducting channels. In single-cell direct methanol fuel cell tests, SPI/SPSGO-8 exhibited 75.06 mW·cm-2 maximum power density (in comparison with commercial Nafion 117 membrane, 62.40 mW·cm-2) under 2 M methanol fuel at 70 °C.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16993-17002
Number of pages10
JournalACS applied materials & interfaces
Volume6
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - 8 Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • direct methanol fuel cell
  • improved water-retention properties
  • polymer electrolyte membranes
  • sulfonated graphene oxide
  • sulfonated polyimide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science

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