Sulfonated block poly(arylene ether sulfone) membranes for fuel cell applications via oligomeric sulfonation

Byungchan Bae, Takayuki Hoshi, Kenji Miyatake*, Masahiro Watanabe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Citations (Scopus)


Poly(arylene ether sulfone) multiblock copoly. were synthesized via oligomeric sulfonation. The successful oligomeric sulfonation enabled multiblock copolymer membranes with different hydrophobic block moiety (biphenyl and naphthalene units). High local concentration of sulfonic acid groups within the hydrophilic blocks enhanced the phase separation between hydrophilic and hydrophobic moiety. Rigid, nonpolar, and planar hydrophobic moiety such as naphthalene groups were effective in increasing proton conductivity and decreasing gas permeability. The multiblock copolymers with naphthalene hydrophobic units with IEC = 2.01 mequiv/g showed comparable proton conductivity to Nafion NRE 212 membrane (0.91 mequiv/g) at >40% RH. The longer blocks were found to increase a characteristic factor (ratio of the proton conductivity to the water volume fraction) as well as phase separation. The membrane showed relatively low oxidative stability under Fenton's test conditions due to higher water uptake and swelling. However, low gas permeability could compensate this drawback for fuel cell applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3884-3892
Number of pages9
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2011 May 24
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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