Ladder-type sulfonated poly(arylene perfluoroalkylene)s for high performance proton exchange membrane fuel cells

Zhi Long, Junpei Miyake, Kenji Miyatake*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Sulfonated poly(arylene perfluoroalkylene)s containing a sulfone-bonded ladder structure (SPAF-P-Lad) were synthesized by treating the precursor SPAF-P polymers with oleum as a novel proton exchange membrane for fuel cells. SPAF-P-Lad membranes had excellent solubility in polar organic solvents and high molecular weight (Mn = 145.4-162.9 kDa, Mw = 356.9-399.1 kDa) to provide bendable membranes with ion exchange capacity (IEC) ranging from 1.76 to 2.01 meq. g-1. SPAF-P-Lad membranes possessed higher proton conductivity than that of the precursor SPAF-P membranes because of the stronger water affinity. Compared with SPAF-P membranes (Tg: 72-90 °C, Young's modulus: 0.08-0.42 GPa; yield stress: 5.7-15.1 MPa), SPAF-P-Lad membranes showed better mechanical stability to humidity and temperature and improved tensile properties (Young's modulus: 0.51-0.59 GPa; yield stress: 23.9-29.6 MPa). The selected membrane, SPAF-mP-Lad, exhibited improved fuel cell performance, in particular, under low humidity with air; the current density at 0.5 V was 0.56 A cm-2, while that for SPAF-pP was 0.46 A cm-2. The SPAF-mP-Lad membrane endured an open circuit voltage hold test for 1000 h with average decay of as small as 70 μV h-1. A series of post-analyses including current-voltage characteristics, molecular structure, molecular weight, and IEC suggested very minor degradation of the membrane under the accelerated testing conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41058-41064
Number of pages7
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number67
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Nov 11

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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