Novel sulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone) containing hydroxyl groups for enhanced proton exchange membrane properties

Yeonhye Kwon, So Young Lee, Sukjae Hong, Jong Hyun Jang, Dirk Henkensmeier, Sung Jong Yoo, Hyoung Juhn Kim, Sung Hyun Kim

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15 Citations (Scopus)


We here report a new sulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone) modified with hydroxyl side groups for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The polymer was synthesized via 4-step reaction including direct copolymerization, sulfochlorination, demethylation, and hydrolysis. By adding the hydroxyl group into the polymer backbone, strong intermolecular hydrogen bonds could be generated between polymer chains. The hydroxyl sulfonated polymer demonstrated high proton conductivities at a variety of temperatures and relative humidities due to its enhanced phase-separated morphology. Moreover, it showed an improved fuel cell performance compared to the non-hydroxylated analog with the same sulfonation degree. The introduction of hydroxyl groups to the sulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone) provides a potential candidate for an improved PEMFC membrane.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-239
Number of pages7
JournalPolymer Chemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 1


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Bioengineering

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