American Chemical Society
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Dimensionally Stable Anion Exchange Membranes Based on Macromolecular-Cross-Linked Poly(arylene piperidinium) for Water Electrolysis

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-01-04, 15:36 authored by Xiuqin Wang, Angela Mary Thomas, Rob G. H. Lammertink
The advancement of anion exchange membranes (AEMs) with superior ionic conductivity has been greatly hindered due to the inherent “trade-off” between membrane swelling and ionic conductivity. To resolve this dilemma, macromolecular covalently cross-linked C-FPVBC-x AEMs were fabricated by combining partially functionalized ether-bond-free polystyrene (FPVBC) with poly­(arylene piperidinium). The results from atomic force microscopy reveal that an increase in the ratio of FPVBC promotes the fabrication of microphase separation morphology, resulting in a high ionic conductivity of 40.15 mS cm–1 (30 °C) for the C-FPVBC-1.7 membrane. Molecular dynamics simulations further examine the ionic conduction effect of cross-linked AEMs. Besides, the unique cross-linking structure significantly improves mechanical and alkaline stability. After treatment in 1 M KOH at 50 °C for 1200 h, the C-FPVBC-1.7 membrane shows only a 6.9% decrease in conductivity. The C-FPVBC-1.7 AEM-based water electrolyzer achieves a high current density of 890 mA cm–2 at 2.4 V (80 °C) and maintains good stability, enduring over 100 h at 100 mA cm–2 (50 °C). These results demonstrate the significant potential of macromolecularly cross-linked AEMs for practical applications in water electrolysis.