Morphology of hydrated as-cast Nafion revealed through cryo electron tomography

Frances I. Allen, Luis R. Comolli, Ahmet Kusoglu, Miguel Modestino, Andrew M. Minor, Adam Z. Weber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Nafion is an ion-containing random copolymer used as a solid electrolyte in many electrochemical applications thanks to its remarkable ionic conductivity and mechanical stability. Understanding the mechanism of ion transport in Nafion, which depends strongly on hydration, therefore requires a complete picture of its morphology in dry and hydrated form. Here we report on a nanoscale study of dry versus hydrated as-cast 100 nm Nafion membranes using analytical transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and cryogenic TEM tomography, respectively. For the dry membrane, spherical clusters ∼3.5 nm in diameter corresponding to the hydrophilic sulfonic-acid-containing phase are identified. In contrast, cryo TEM tomography of the hydrated membrane reveals an interconnected channel-type network, with a domain spacing of ∼5 nm, and presents the first nanoscale 3D views of the internal structure of hydrated Nafion obtained by a direct-imaging approach. (Figure Presented).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalACS Macro Letters
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

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Tomography
Transmission electron microscopy
Membranes
Electrons
Mechanical stability
Solid electrolytes
Ions
Ionic conductivity
Hydration
Cryogenics
Sulfonic Acids
Copolymers
Imaging techniques
Acids
perfluorosulfonic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this

Allen, F. I., Comolli, L. R., Kusoglu, A., Modestino, M., Minor, A. M., & Weber, A. Z. (2015). Morphology of hydrated as-cast Nafion revealed through cryo electron tomography. ACS Macro Letters, 4(1), 1-5. https://doi.org/10.1021/mz500606h

Morphology of hydrated as-cast Nafion revealed through cryo electron tomography. / Allen, Frances I.; Comolli, Luis R.; Kusoglu, Ahmet; Modestino, Miguel; Minor, Andrew M.; Weber, Adam Z.

In: ACS Macro Letters, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2015, p. 1-5.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Allen, FI, Comolli, LR, Kusoglu, A, Modestino, M, Minor, AM & Weber, AZ 2015, 'Morphology of hydrated as-cast Nafion revealed through cryo electron tomography', ACS Macro Letters, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 1-5. https://doi.org/10.1021/mz500606h
Allen, Frances I. ; Comolli, Luis R. ; Kusoglu, Ahmet ; Modestino, Miguel ; Minor, Andrew M. ; Weber, Adam Z. / Morphology of hydrated as-cast Nafion revealed through cryo electron tomography. In: ACS Macro Letters. 2015 ; Vol. 4, No. 1. pp. 1-5.
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