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Polymers 2014, 6(11), 2720-2736; doi:10.3390/polym6112720

Improving the Conductivity of Sulfonated Polyimides as Proton Exchange Membranes by Doping of a Protic Ionic Liquid

Department of Materials Engineering, Kun Shan University, Tainan 710, Taiwan
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, Yunlin 640, Taiwan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 September 2014 / Revised: 30 September 2014 / Accepted: 21 October 2014 / Published: 24 October 2014
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Proton exchange membranes (PEMs) are a key component of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell. Sulfonated polyimides (SPIs) were doped by protic ionic liquid (PIL) to prepare composite PEMs with substantially improved conductivity. SPIs were synthesized from diamine, 2,2-bis[4-(4-amino-phenoxy)phenyl]propane (BAPP), sulfonated diamine, 4,4'-diamino diphenyl ether-2,2'-disulfonic acid (ODADS) and aromatic anhydride. BAPP improved the mechanical and thermal properties of SPIs, while ODADS enhanced conductivity. A PIL, 1-vinylimidazolium trifluoromethane-sulfonate ([VIm][OTf]), was utilized. [VIm][OTf] offered better conductivity, which can be attributed to its vinyl chemical structure attached to an imidazolium ring that contributed to ionomer-PIL interactions. We prepared sulfonated polyimide/ionic liquid (SPI/IL) composite PEMs using 50 wt% [VIm][OTf] with a conductivity of 7.17 mS/cm at 100 °C, and in an anhydrous condition, 3,3',4,4'-diphenyl sulfone tetracarboxylic dianhydride (DSDA) was used in the synthesis of SPIs, leading to several hundred-times improvement in conductivity compared to pristine SPIs. View Full-Text
Keywords: proton exchange membrane; sulfonated polyimide; ionic liquid; conductivity proton exchange membrane; sulfonated polyimide; ionic liquid; conductivity

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Chen, B.-K.; Wong, J.-M.; Wu, T.-Y.; Chen, L.-C.; Shih, I.-C. Improving the Conductivity of Sulfonated Polyimides as Proton Exchange Membranes by Doping of a Protic Ionic Liquid. Polymers 2014, 6, 2720-2736.

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