Structural analysis of PVA-based proton conducting membranes
Journal article, 2006
We have synthesized and characterized a new family of proton conducting membranes based on cross-linked poly(vinyl alcohol), PVA, and functionalized silica filler. Glutaraldehyde, GLA, was used as the cross-linking agent in order to improve chemical and thermal stabilities. The functionalization of the silica particles is such that terminal -SO 3 H groups are formed during membrane preparation, thus possibly providing additional mobile protons. We find that the crystallinity of the PVA-based membranes is enhanced by the presence of the functionalized silica particles, whereas it is reduced by means of cross-linking. The thermal stability of the ternary system PVA:GLA:silica is improved due to the additive contribution of GLA and silica. The conductivity of membranes swelled in a sulfuric acid solution was found to be of the order of 10 - 1 S cm - 1 . © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.