Mesoscale morphologies of nafion-based blend membranes by dissipative particle dynamics

Unal Sen, Mehmet Ozdemir, Mustafa Erkartal, Alaattin Metin Kaya, Abdullah A. Manda, Ali Reza Oveisi, M. Ali Aboudzadeh, Takashi Tokumasu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) composed of polymer or polymer blend is a vital element in PEM fuel cell that allows proton transport and serves as a barrier between fuel and oxygen. Understanding the microscopic phase behavior in polymer blends is very crucial to design alternative cost-effective proton-conducting materials. In this study, the mesoscale morphologies of Nafion/poly(1-vinyl-1,2,4-triazole) (Nafion-PVTri) and Nafion/poly(vinyl phosphonic acid) (Nafion-PVPA) blend membranes were studied by dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) simulation technique. Simulation results indicate that both blend membranes can form a phase-separated microstructure due to the different hydrophobic and hydrophilic character of different polymer chains and different segments in the same polymer chain. There is a strong, attractive interaction between the phosphonic acid and sulfonic acid groups and a very strong repulsive interaction between the fluorinated and phosphonic acid groups in the Nafion-PVPA blend membrane. By increasing the PVPA content in the blend membrane, the PVPA clusters’ size gradually increases and forms a continuous phase. On the other hand, repulsive interaction between fluorinated and triazole units in the Nafion-PVTri blend is not very strong compared to the Nafion-PVPA blend, which results in different phase behavior in Nafion-PVTri blend membrane. This relatively lower repulsive interaction causes Nafion-PVTri blend membrane to have non-continuous phases regardless of the composition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number984
JournalProcesses
Volume9
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • 2
  • 4-triazole)
  • Dissipative particle dynamics
  • Mesoscale morphology
  • Nafion
  • Poly(1-vinyl-1
  • Poly(vinylphosphonic acid)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology

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