Characterizations and stability of polyimide-phosphotungstic acid composite electrolyte membranes for fuel cell

Wonbong Jang, Seunghyuk Choi, Seokkyu Lee, Yonggun Shul, Haksoo Han

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40 Citations (Scopus)


Organic-inorganic composite membranes from partially aliphatic sulfonated polyimides and heteropolyacids (HPAs) were synthesized. A series of composite membranes with varying amounts of heteropolyacid were prepared by altering the weight ratio of polyimide and HPA. The partially aliphatic sulfonated polyimides are synthesized from 1,4,5,8-naphthalenetetracarboxylic dianhydride, 4,4′-diaminobiphenyl 2,2′-disulfonic acid as the sulfonated diamine, and decamethylenediamine as the aliphatic diamine. The incorporation of HPA is confirmed by FT-IR analyses. When appropriately embedded in a hydrophilic polymer matrix, the hydrated HPAs are expected to endow the composite membrane with their high proton conductivity, while retaining the desirable mechanical properties of the polymer film. These composite membranes were evaluated for thermal stability, ion exchange capacity, water uptake and proton conductivity. Also the extraction of HPA from the polyimide membranes and their stability in water were determined. Though water uptake and IEC decreased with increase in HPA content, the proton conductivity of the composite membranes increased with increase in HPA weight content. This study shows that partially aliphatic sulfonated polyimide composite membranes with HPA can be a viable substitute for Nafion® for fuel cells which show good conductivity comparable to Nafion®117 at temperatures nearing 100 °C, keeping in mind that polyimides have good thermal stability and low cost.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1289-1296
Number of pages8
JournalPolymer Degradation and Stability
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Jul

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of Korea through the National Research Laboratory Program.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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