High temperature proton conducting organic/inorganic nanohybrids for polymer electrolyte membrane

H. Nakajima, S. Nomura, T. Sugimoto, S. Nishikawa, I. Honma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Citations (Scopus)


Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) have been recently investigated extensively as a key technology to solve a global energy and environmental problem by their higher energy conversion efficiency compared to internal combustion engines. The electrolyte membrane is a basic element in PEMFC, however, the polymer electrolyte membrane, typically such as Nafion, usually suffers from degradation at higher temperature, resulting in narrow operational temperature windows below 100°C. If there is an alternative polymer membrane with high stability and sufficient protonic conductivity in the temperature range above 100°C, an intermediate temperature operated PEMFC can be realized which can potentially overcome major problems in the current system such as CO poisoning on the Pt surfaces: large amount of Pt metals at both electrodes and heat management. Additionally, direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) can be feasible at intermediate temperature operation. In this work, sol-gel processes have been used to synthesize a new family of polymer electrolyte membrane consisting of organic/inorganic nanohybrid macromolecules. The flexible, homogeneous, and large-sized hybrid polymer membrane has been found to be thermally stable up to 250°C and to have protonic conductivities of approximately 10-3 to 10-2 S/cm from a room temperature to 140°C under a humidifi condition. The current membrane is potentially useful in an intermediate temperature-operated advanced fuel cells system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)A953-A959
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Aug
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrochemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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