Sulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone) ionomers containing fluorenyl groups for fuel cell applications

Byungchan Bae, Kenji Miyatake, Masahiro Watanabe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


A series of sulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone)s (SPEs) containing fluorenyl groups as bulky components were synthesized and characterized for fuel cell applications. Introduction of disodium 3,3′-disulfo-4,4′-difluorophenyl sulfone (SFPS) monomer gave ionomers with high acidity and accordingly high proton conductivity as well as high proton diffusion coefficient (Dσ) at low humidity. The membrane of SPE60 (where the number denotes mole percentage of the component containing sulfonic acid groups; IEC (ion exchange capacity) = 1.68 mequiv./g) exhibited high proton conductivity of 4.6 × 10-3 S/cm at 40% RH and 80 °C, which is one order of magnitude higher than that (6 × 10-4 S/cm) of our previous SPE (SPE-1, IEC = 1.58 mequiv./g). Dσ of SPE60 membrane was ca. 4 times higher than that of the SPE-1 membrane at low water volume fraction. SPE membranes showed good oxidative and hydrolytic stability as well as favorable thermal and mechanical properties. Small-angle X-ray scattering analyses showed that the phase separation of SPE membranes was much less developed than that of the perfluorinated Nafion membrane which accounts for lower hydrogen and oxygen permeability of the former membranes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-118
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Mar 5
Externally publishedYes


  • Fuel cells
  • Ionomers
  • Poly(arylene ether sulfone)
  • Proton conduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


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