Nafion-clay nanocomposite membranes: Morphology and properties
Alonso, R.H.; Estevez, L.; Lian, H.Q.; Kelarakis, A.; Giannelis, E.P.
A series of Nafion-clay nanocomposite membranes were synthesized and characterized. To minimize any adverse effects on ionic conductivity the clay nanoparticles were HI exchanged prior to mixing with Nafion. Well-dispersed, mechanically robust, free-standing nanocomposite membranes were prepared by casting from a water suspension at 180 degrees C under pressure. SAXS profiles reveal a preferential orientation of Nafion aggregates parallel to the membrane surface, or normal plane. This preferred orientation is induced by the platy nature of the clay nanoparticles, which tend to align parallel to the sureface of the membrane. The nanocomposite membranes show dramatically reduced methanol permeability, while maintaining high levels of proton conductivity. The hybrid films are much stiffer and can withstand much higher temperatures compared to pur Nafion. The superior thermomechanical, electrochemical and barrier properties of the nanocomposite membranes are of significant interest for direct methanol fuel cell applications. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
ELSEVIER SCI LTD
Nafion; Nanoclay; Montmorillonite
Previously Published As
Polymer, 50 (11), 2402-2410, May 22, 2009