A novel approach for effectively dispersing SiO2 nanoparticles in a sulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone) ionomer (SPAES) matrix has been demonstrated. It is based on the application of wet-type milling process. Compared to a conventional mixing process such as sonication, wet-type milling allowed noticeable improvements in SiO2 nanoparticle dispersion, owing to the intensive impact of collisions between milling beads and nanoparticles. In terms of nanoparticle dispersion, the influence of wet-type milling on the direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC) membrane performance such as proton conductivity, methanol permeability, and selectivity was examined and compared with sonication process. This study underlines that nanoparticle dispersion in the composite membranes is crucial in determining DMFC membrane performance and can be substantially improved by employing a novel mixing process, i.e. wet-type milling.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by a grant from the Fundamental R&D Program for Core Technology of Materials funded by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, Republic of Korea.
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