- Polymers Journal
- March 2021
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- In this work, anion exchange membranes based on polymer semi-interpenetrating networks were synthesized and characterized for the first time. The networks are composed of sulfonated polysulfone and 1-methylimidazolium-functionalized polysulfone crosslinked covalently with N,N,N',N'-tetramethylethylenediamine (degree of crosslinking of 5%). In these membranes, sulfonic groups interact electrostatically with cationic groups to form an ionic crosslinking structure with improved alkaline stability. The effect of the ionic crosslinking on the thermal, chemical, mechanical, and electrochemical behavior of membranes was studied. These crosslinked membranes containing sulfonated polysulfone showed higher thermal stability, with a delay of around 20 °C in the onset decomposition temperature value of the functional groups than the crosslinked membranes containing free polysulfone. The tensile strength values were maintained above 44 MPa in all membranes with a degree of chloromethylation (DC) below 100%. The maximum ionic conductivity value is reached with the membrane with the highest degree of chloromethylation. The chemical stability in alkaline medium of the conducting membranes also improved. Thus, the ionic conductivity variation of the membranes after 96 h in a 1 M potassium hydroxide (KOH) solution is less pronounced when polysulfone is replaced by sulfonated polysulfone. So, the ionic crosslinking which joins both components of the blends together, improves the material's properties making progress in the development of new solid electrolyte for polymeric fuel cells.
- aemfc; anion exchange membrane; ionic crosslinking; polysulfone; semi-interpenetrating network