Controlling nafion structure and properties via wetting interactions

Miguel Modestino, Ahmet Kusoglu, Alexander Hexemer, Adam Z. Weber, Rachel A. Segalman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Proton conducting ionomers are widely used for electrochemical applications including fuel-cell devices, flow batteries, and solar-fuels generators. For most applications the presence of interfacial interactions can affect the structure and properties of ionomers. Nafion is the most widely used ionomer for electrochemical applications due to their remarkable proton conductivity and stability. While Nafion membranes have been widely studied, the behavior and morphology of this ionomer under operating conditions when confined to a thin-film morphology are still not well understood. Using in situ grazing-incidence small-angle X-ray scattering (GISAXS) techniques, this work demonstrates that the wetting interaction in thin-film interfaces can drastically affect the internal morphology of ionomers and in turn modify its transport properties. Thin films cast on hydrophobic substrates result in parallel orientation of ionomer channels that retard the absorption of water from humidified environments; while films prepared on SiO 2 result in isotropic orientation of these domains, thus favoring water sorption and swelling of the polymer. Furthermore, the results presented in this paper demonstrate that upon thermal annealing of Nafion thin films static crystalline domains form within the polymer matrix that restrict further water uptake. The results presented in this study can aid in the rational design of functional composite materials used in fuel-cell catalyst layers and solar-fuels devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4681-4688
Number of pages8
JournalMacromolecules
Volume45
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 12 2012

Fingerprint

Ionomers
Wetting
Thin films
Water
Fuel cells
Functional materials
Proton conductivity
X ray scattering
Polymer matrix
Transport properties
Swelling
perfluorosulfonic acid
Protons
Sorption
Polymers
Annealing
Crystalline materials
Membranes
Catalysts
Composite materials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this

Modestino, M., Kusoglu, A., Hexemer, A., Weber, A. Z., & Segalman, R. A. (2012). Controlling nafion structure and properties via wetting interactions. Macromolecules, 45(11), 4681-4688. https://doi.org/10.1021/ma300212f

Controlling nafion structure and properties via wetting interactions. / Modestino, Miguel; Kusoglu, Ahmet; Hexemer, Alexander; Weber, Adam Z.; Segalman, Rachel A.

In: Macromolecules, Vol. 45, No. 11, 12.06.2012, p. 4681-4688.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Modestino, M, Kusoglu, A, Hexemer, A, Weber, AZ & Segalman, RA 2012, 'Controlling nafion structure and properties via wetting interactions', Macromolecules, vol. 45, no. 11, pp. 4681-4688. https://doi.org/10.1021/ma300212f
Modestino M, Kusoglu A, Hexemer A, Weber AZ, Segalman RA. Controlling nafion structure and properties via wetting interactions. Macromolecules. 2012 Jun 12;45(11):4681-4688. https://doi.org/10.1021/ma300212f
Modestino, Miguel ; Kusoglu, Ahmet ; Hexemer, Alexander ; Weber, Adam Z. ; Segalman, Rachel A. / Controlling nafion structure and properties via wetting interactions. In: Macromolecules. 2012 ; Vol. 45, No. 11. pp. 4681-4688.
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