Nafion-layered sulfonated polysulfone fuel cell membranes

Sheng Li Chen, Andrew Bruce Bocarsly, Jay Burton Benziger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Sulfonated polysulfone (SPSU) with high ion exchange capacity (IEC) and ion conductivity was synthesized through deep sulfonation of polysulfone using the trimethysilyl chlorosulfonate as sulfonation agent. The silicon-containing compounds formed during the synthesis of SPSU were completely removed from the SPSU by simple evaporation. Water swelling, ion exchange capacity, conductivity and fuel cell performance were measured for the SPSU membranes. SPSU membranes with IEC twice that of Nafion-115 were prepared. The conductivity of the SPSU increased exponentially with the relative humidity (RH), achieving conductivities of 0.1 S cm-1 for RH > 70%. A Nafion-layered SPSU PEM fuel cell membrane was synthesized through pressing a thin Nafion-115 layer on to both sides of SPSU membrane. The Nafion layers on the SPSU prevented the water-soluble SPSU from being washed out of MEA, and the membrane was stable during the fuel cell operation up to 120°C.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-33
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Fuel cells
  • Layered membranes
  • Polymer electrolyte membranes
  • Polysulfone
  • Sulfonation


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