Cost-effective porous-organic-polymer-based electrolyte membranes with superprotonic conductivity and low activation energy

Dong Won Kang, Kyung Ah Lee, Minjung Kang, Jong Min Kim, Minkyu Moon, Jong Hyeak Choe, Hyojin Kim, Dae Won Kim, Jin Young Kim, Chang Seop Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


For real-world applications of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), potential electrolyte materials with high proton conductivity should possess activation energy as low as possible so that good conductivity can be achieved even at low operating temperatures. It is desirable and yet challenging to devise such materials with very low activation energy (<0.1 eV) while maintaining high conductivity. In this work, we have prepared phloroglucinol-based porous organic polymers (POPs) 1S1M, 1S2M, and 1S3Mvia post-synthetic impregnation of sulfuric acid into the pores. The superprotonic conductivity of 1S1M is 2.35 × 10-1 S cm-1 at 70 °C and 90% relative humidity (RH), with a significantly low activation energy of 0.075 eV. The conductivity exceeds that observed for POP-based conductors and is even superior to that of Nafion. Proton-conducting mixed matrix membranes (1S1MP, 1S2MP, and 1S3MP) composed of these powders and poly(vinylidene fluoride) have been fabricated via a drop casting method. 1S3MP exhibits a high proton conductivity of 2.13 × 10-2 S cm-1 at 80 °C and 90% RH. To the best of our knowledge, the activation energy (0.039 eV) of 1S3MP is the lowest recorded value among those for any proton conductive materials. The membrane, which is easy to fabricate and scalable for mass production, is durable over 3 weeks with invariant conductivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1147-1153
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a Korea CCS R&D Center (KCRC) grant funded by the Korean government (the Ministry of Science, ICT, & Future Planning (MSIP)) (NRF-2012-0008901), by the Basic Science Research Program (NRF-2018R1A2A1A05079297), the Priority Research Centers Program (NRF-2019R1A6A1A11044070), and by KU Future Research Grant. This research was supported by the Technology Development Program to Solve Climate Changes of the National Research Foundation (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT, & Future Planning (NRF-2015M1A2A2056690).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Materials Science


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