Frontiers of Materials Science

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 156–167 | Cite as

Fluorinated poly(ether sulfone) ionomers with disulfonated naphthyl pendants for proton exchange membrane applications

  • Zhaoxia Hu
  • Yao Lu
  • Xulve Zhang
  • Xiaobo Yan
  • Na Li
  • Shouwen Chen
Research Article


Proton exchange membranes based on fluorinated poly(ether sulfone)s with disulfonated naphthyl pendants (sSPFES) have been successfully prepared by post functionalization through polymeric SNAr reaction. Copolymer structure was confirmed by H-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, the physico-chemical properties of the sSPFES membranes were evaluated by thermogravimetric analysis, gel permeation chromatography, electro-chemical impedance spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, Fenton, water-swelling and fuel cell test. The pendant grafting degree was controlled by varying the feeding amount of the disulfonaphthols, resulting in the ion exchange capacity about 1.28-1.73 mmol/g. The obtained sSPFES membranes were thermal stable, mechanical ductile, and exhibited dimensional change less than 17%, water uptake below 70%, and proton conductivity as high as 0.17-0.28 S/cm at 90°C in water. In a single H2/O2 fuel cell test at 80°C, the sSPFES-B-3.2 membrane (1.61 mmol/g) showed the maximum power output of 593–658 mW/cm2 at 60%-80% relative humidity, indicating their rather promising potential for fuel cell applications.


proton exchange membrane poly(ether sulfone) disulfonaphthol post functionalization fuel cell 


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We gratefully thank the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 21276128 and 21006052) and the Basic Research Program of Jiangsu Province of China (BK20141398) for the financial supports.


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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Chemical Pollution Control and Resources Reuse, School of Environmental & Biological EngineeringNanjing University of Science and TechnologyNanjingChina

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