Multiblock copolymers of sulfonated PSU/PPSU Poly(ether sulfone)s as solid electrolytes for proton exchange membrane fuel cells Articles uri icon

publication date

  • April 2019

start page

  • 428

end page

  • 440


  • 302

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0013-4686

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-3859


  • Sulfonated multiblock copolymers composed of Polysulfone (PSU) and Polyphenylsulfone (PPSU) poly(ether sulfone) segments (SPSU/SPPSU) are synthesized for the first time by polycondensation in a "one-pot two-step synthesis" of commercial monomers, followed by sulfonation reaction with trimethylsilyl chlorosulfonate (TMSCS). Both segments are responsible for proton conductivity, although the PSU block has greater affinity to be sulfonated. Even though no microphase separation is detected, the resulting ionomers exhibit good mechanical properties due to the non-sulfonated blocks remaining and to the high molecular weights of the ionomers. The chemical structure is confirmed by H-1-NMR, F-19-NMR and FTIR analysis. The degree of sulfonation (0.93-1.58) is determined from the IEC values and H-1-NMR spectra. In situ through-plane proton conductivity measured on the MEAs is 34.1 mS cm(-1) at 70 degrees C. A maximum power density of 400 mW cm(-2), a current density of 1100 mA cm(-2) and outstanding thermo-mechanical stability, these proton-conducting membranes can therefore be implemented in PEMFC


  • Materials science and engineering


  • block copolymer; sulfonation; polysulfone; pemfc; proton exchange membranes; conducting polymer membranes