(376b) Synthesis and Characterization of Novel Sulfonated Amine Block Copolymers for Direct Methanol Fuel Cells
In this work, atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) was used to synthesize styrene-based amine block copolymers for DMFC applications. The block copolymer was then sulfonated by chemical grafting with pendants sulfobutyl groups onto the polymer structure. This method has been shown to generate PEMs with better proton conductivity and water absorption, than PEMs with sulfonic groups bonded on aromatic rings. Properties of the resulting membranes were determined as a function of amine block composition and sulfonation level. A series of materials characterization techniques (e.g., FT-IR, AFM, SAXS) was utilized to understand the interaction between sulfonic and amine groups in the polymer matrix and their effect on the morphology and transport properties of the membranes for fuel cells.