Poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA)/sulfonated polyhedral oligosilsesquioxane (sPOSS) hybrid membranes for direct methanol fuel cell applications

Young Wook Chang, Erdong Wang, Geumsig Shin, Jung Eun Han, Patrfick T. Mather

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Organic/inorganic hybrid membranes based on poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) and sulfonated polyhedral oligosilsesquioxane (sPOSS), crosslinked by ethylenediaminetetraacetic dianhydride (EDTAD), were prepared as candidate materials for proton exchange membranes in direct methanel fuel cell (DMFC) applications. Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy and ion exchange capacity measurements for the prepared networks clearly revealed sPOSS incorporation. We found that proton conductivity increased and methanol permeability decreased with increasing sPOSS content in the hybrid membrane. In particular, our hybrid membranes demonstrated proton conductivities as high as 0.042 S/ cm, which is comparable to that of Nafion™, while exhibiting two orders of magnitude lower methanol permeability as compared to Nafion™. We postulate that the polar sulfonic acid groups of the incorporated sPOSS cages assemble to provide ion conduction paths while the hydrophobic portions of the same sPOSS cages combine to form a barrier to methanol permeation with improved thermal stability of the hybrid membrane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)535-543
Number of pages9
JournalPolymers for Advanced Technologies
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • Direct methanol fuel cell (DMPC)
  • Membrane
  • Poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA)
  • Sulfonated polyhedral oligosilsesquioxane (sPOSS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Polymers and Plastics


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