, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 243–253 | Cite as

NMR investigation of water and methanol mobility in nanocomposite fuel cell membranes

  • Isabella NicoteraEmail author
  • Ameesh Khalfan
  • Gabriel Goenaga
  • Tao Zhang
  • Andrew Bocarsly
  • Steve Greenbaum
Original Paper


Water and methanol transport behavior, morphology, and solvent adsorption of filler-free Nafion membrane, Nafion–SiO2, Nafion–TiO2, and two Nafion–Zr(HPO4)2 composites were investigated using nuclear magnetic resonance methods, including spin-lattice relaxation and pulsed-field-gradient spin-echo diffusion conducted under both variable temperature and variable hydrostatic pressure conditions and scanning electron microscopy analysis. A comparison between water and methanol self-diffusion coefficients reveals that the water mobility is higher than the methanol mobility in all the membranes. Additionally, the inclusion of inorganic fillers improves both the solvent uptakes and the transport properties of the composite membranes relative to filler-free Nafion, with the exception of one of the Nafion–Zr(HPO4)2 composite. Nafion–Zr(HPO4)2 composites were prepared by two different procedures, in situ and ex situ. Although phosphorus-31 magic-angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance spectra show the same structures of the particles in both kinds of membranes, the morphology, solvent absorption properties, and solvent mobilities are very different.


Diffusion Composite electrolytes Electron microscopies NMR PEMFCs 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isabella Nicotera
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ameesh Khalfan
    • 2
  • Gabriel Goenaga
    • 2
  • Tao Zhang
    • 3
  • Andrew Bocarsly
    • 3
  • Steve Greenbaum
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of CalabriaCosenzaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Physics and AstronomyHunter College of the City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of ChemistryPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA

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