Enhanced proton conductivity of proton exchange membranes by incorporating sulfonated metal-organic frameworks

Zhen Li, Guangwei He, Yuning Zhao, Ying Cao, Hong Wu, Yifan Li, Zhongyi Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


In this study, octahedral crystal MIL101(Cr) with a uniform size of ∼400 nm is synthesized via hydrothermal reaction. It is then functionalized with sulfonic acid groups by concentrated sulfuric acid and trifluoromethanesulfonic anhydride in nitromethane. The sulfonated MIL101(Cr) are homogeneously incorporated into sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) (SPEEK) matrix to prepare hybrid membranes. The performances of hybrid membranes are evaluated by proton conductivity, methanol permeability, water uptake and swelling property, and thermal stability. The methanol permeability increased slightly from 6.12 × 10-7 to 7.39 × 10-7 cm2 s-1 with the filler contents increasing from 0 to 10 wt. %. However, the proton conductivity of the hybrid membranes increased significantly. The proton conductivity is increased up to 0.306 S cm -1 at 75 °C and 100% RH, which is 96.2% higher than that of pristine membranes (0.156 S cm-1). The increment of proton conductivity is attributed to the following multiple functionalities of the sulfonated MIL101(Cr) in hybrid membranes: i) providing sulfonic acid groups as facile proton hopping sites; ii) forming additional proton-transport pathways at the interfaces of polymer and MOFs; iii) constructing hydrogen-bonded networks for proton conduction via-OH provided by the hydrolysis of coordinatively unsaturated metal sites. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)372-379
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Power Sources
StatePublished - Sep 15 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Generated from Scopus record by KAUST IRTS on 2023-09-20

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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