Proton conducting electrolyte membranes are key elements for advanced PEFC technologies, which are promised to reduce emissions from fossil fuels because of their higher efficiency. Technological options such as high temperature cell operation and/or direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC) encourage the development of more functionalized membranes. In this report, new class of amphiphilic organic/inorganic nano-hybrid membranes have been synthesized through sol-gel processing of bridged polysilsesquioxanes. The membrane doped with acidic moieties such as 12-phosphotungstic acid (PWA) show large protonic conductivities and was found to be flexible as well as thermally stable due to the temperature tolerant inorganic frameworks in the macromolecules. The hybrid membranes with the proton conductivity exceeding 10-2 S/cm can be used for an application in the PEFC electrolyte membrane.
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