A series of crosslinked polymer electrolyte membranes with controlled structures were prepared based on poly(styrene-b-butadiene-b-styrene) (SBS) triblock copolymer and a sulfonated monomer, 2-sulfoethyl methacrylate (SEMA). SBS membranes were thermally crosslinked with SEMA in the presence of a thermal-initiator, 4,4′-azobis(4-cyanovaleric acid) (ACVA), as confirmed by FT-IR spectroscopy. The water uptake and ion exchange capacity (IEC) of membranes increased almost linearly with SEMA concentrations due to the increase of SO 3- groups. However, the proton conductivity of membranes increased linearly up to 33 wt % of SEMA, above which it abruptly jumped to 0.04 S/cm presumably due to the formation of well-developed proton channels. Microphase-separated morphology and amorphous structures of crosslinked SBS/SEMA membranes were observed using wide angle X-ray scattering (WAXS), small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The membranes exhibited good mechanical properties and high thermal stability up to 250°C, as determined by a universal testing machine (UTM) and thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), respectively.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Polymers and Plastics
- Materials Chemistry