Materials for use as proton conducting membranes for fuel cells
Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties, Inc.
McGrath, James E.
Einsla, Brian R.
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A family of polymers having pendent sulfonate moieties connected to polymeric main chain phenyl groups are described. These polymers are prepared by the steps of polymerization (using a monomer with a phenyl with an alkoxy substitution), deportation by converting the alkoxy to a hydroxyl, and functionalization of the polymer with a pendant sulfonate group. As an example, sulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone) copolymers with pendent sulfonic acid groups are synthesized by the direct copolymerization of methoxy-containing poly(arylene ether sulfone)s, then converting the methoxy groups to the reactive hydroxyl form, and finally functionalizing the hydroxyl form with proton-conducting sites through nucleophilic substitution. The family of polymers may have application in proton exchange membranes and in other applications.
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