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The publication reports, for the first time, on the synthesis of aromatic-based ionomers bearing superacid side groups bonded to a highly hydrophobic fluorinated aromatic backbone. The incorporation of the side group on the backbone takes place in one step via a nucleophilic substitution. The membranes obtained from these new ionomers show phase separation at nanoscale and moderate water uptake even at high ion exchange capacity (IEC), i.e. 1.7 meq/g. Additionally, their conductivity and mechanical strength are much higher than those of the benchmarked ionomer Nafion (R), which makes them very promising materials for fuel cell application. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.