Anion conducting methylated aliphatic PBI and its calculated properties

Hyeongrae Cho, Dirk Henkensmeier, Mateusz Brela, Artur Michalak, Jong Hyun Jang, Kwan Young Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


A methylated polybenzimidazole with an aliphatic chain in the backbone (Me-PBI-C10) was synthesized and formed into membranes. Literature suggests that alkyl chains on C2 of imidazolium ions increase their alkaline stability. While this may be true for model compounds or ions attached as a side chain, both our DFT calculations and experimental results show that Me-PBI-C10 does not withstand alkaline conditions. To increase the alkaline stability, blend membranes with PBI-OO were fabricated. A blend membrane with 50% PBI-OO showed a chloride conductivity of up to 6 mS/cm, indicating that these membranes could find use in non-alkaline applications like vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFB). The high mechanical stability (tensile strength: 70.25 ± 14.85 MPa, Young modulus: 1.65 ± 0.16 GPa) would be an advantage over currently used Nafion membranes. Finally, three different models were successfully applied to qualitatively predict the water uptake of Me-PBI-C10 exchanged with different anions. The results match with experimental data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-265
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Feb 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • DFT calculations
  • aliphatic polybenzimidazole
  • cation-anion interactions
  • computer modeling
  • ionomers
  • membranes
  • polymer solvation
  • water uptake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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