Synthesis and Characterization of Phosphonium-Containing Cationic Poly(styrene) Polymers

Report No. ARL-TN-0378
Authors: Kristoffer Stokes and Frederick L. Beyer
Date/Pages: December 2009; 14 pages
Abstract: Alkaline fuel cells have been proposed as a cost effective alternative energy solution due to their cheap manufacture and low operating temperatures. Their mass utilization, however, is hindered by their electrolyte material. While relatively inexpensive solid proton exchange membranes have been available for some time now, alkaline fuel cells still rely on liquid electrolyte to provide mobility to the anionic species. In this technical note, we describe an ionomeric system designed as an anion exchange membrane for these types of applications. Styrene monomer has been copolymerized with 4-inylbenzyltrimethylphosphonium chloride to produce several statistical copolymers via reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization, a controlled radical polymerization method. The synthetic approach and preliminary results are discussed, as well as future plans.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: December 1, 2009