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New hybrid inorganic-organic proton conducting membranes based on Nafion and a [(ZrO2)·(Ta2O5)0.119] oxide core-shell nanofiller

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 February 2012

Vito Di Noto
Affiliation:
Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Padova, Via Marzolo 1, 35131 Padova (PD) Italy.
Matteo Piga
Affiliation:
Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Padova, Via Marzolo 1, 35131 Padova (PD) Italy.
Enrico Negro
Affiliation:
Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Padova, Via Marzolo 1, 35131 Padova (PD) Italy.
Guinevere A. Giffin
Affiliation:
Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Padova, Via Marzolo 1, 35131 Padova (PD) Italy.
Sandra Lavina
Affiliation:
Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Padova, Via Marzolo 1, 35131 Padova (PD) Italy.
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Abstract

Hybrid inorganic-organic proton-conducting membranes are prepared by a standard solvent casting procedure. Nafion® is used as the host polymer and [(ZrO2)·(Ta2O5)0.119] “core-shell” nanoparticles (d ~ 10-50 nm) are incorporated as the nanofiller. This filler is characterized by a “core” of ZrO2 nanoparticles covered by a Ta2O5 “shell”. The mechanical properties of the resulting hybrid membranes determined by dynamic mechanical analysis are better than those of pristine Nafion. The elastic modulus of the hybrid membranes with a filler content greater than 5 wt% is at least 1 MPa up to 200°C, while pristine Nafion undergoes an irreversible elongation at 160°C. The hybrid membranes are characterized by promising conductivities above 115°C (7.5×10-2 S·cm-1 for 9 wt% nanofiller vs. 3.3×10-2 S·cm-1 for pristine Nafion), as determined by broadband electric spectroscopy. The single fuel cell performance at low levels of hydration of the best-performing hybrid membrane (9 wt% nanofiller) is better than that of pristine recast Nafion. The maximum power densities yielded by the MEAs fabricated with pristine Nafion and the hybrid membrane are 0.026 and 0.108 W·cm-2, respectively, at 85°C, aH2O = 0.13, a reagent back pressure = 1 bar and using pure oxygen as the oxidant.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2012

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References

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New hybrid inorganic-organic proton conducting membranes based on Nafion and a [(ZrO2)·(Ta2O5)0.119] oxide core-shell nanofiller
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New hybrid inorganic-organic proton conducting membranes based on Nafion and a [(ZrO2)·(Ta2O5)0.119] oxide core-shell nanofiller
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New hybrid inorganic-organic proton conducting membranes based on Nafion and a [(ZrO2)·(Ta2O5)0.119] oxide core-shell nanofiller
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