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Novel Polysilsesquioxane Hybrid Membranes for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) Applications

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Novel polysilsesquioxane (R-Si-(O)1.5) PEMs with highly cross-linked Si-O backbones and pendant organic side chains comprising propylsulfonic or ethylphosphonic acid groups, were prepared via sol-gel polymerization. The inorganic component provides thermal/mechanical/chemical stability while the organic component gives flexibility and proton-conducting properties. The propylsulfonic acid membranes exhibited proton conductivities () up to 10-2 S/cm at high relative humidities and temperatures, while the ethylphosphonic acid membranes showed lower proton conductivities but higher thermal stabilities. Preliminary results for the propylsulfonic acid membranes in direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) performance are reported.

Keywords: Polysilsesquioxane; proton exchange membrane fuel cell

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Chemistry and the Alan G. MacDiarmid Nanotech Institute, The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, TX, USA 2: United Technologies Research Center, East Hartford, CT, USA

Publication date: December 1, 2008

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