(Invited) Ionomer Membrane and Thin-Film Diagnostics
In this talk, the structure/function relationship of perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) ionomers will be examined from micrometer to nanometer lengthscales, with a focus on the related advanced diagnostics and the information they can provide to enable correlations between an ionomer’s phase-separated nanostructure and its transport and mechanical properties. The morphology of PFSA ionomers of different equivalent weights and side-chain chemistries will be discussed based on small- and wide-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS/WAXS) experiments. We will then present an overview of the membrane's hydration, mechanical and transport properties in response to humidity, time, temperature, and thermal history. Such measurements utilize various traditional diagnostics like impedance spectroscopy and diffusion cells, as well as advanced diagnostic methods, including time-resolved SAXS, computed x-ray tomography, and conductive AFM. In addition, applicability of the diagnostics to the thin-film regime (4 to 400 nm) will be discussed, including the use of state-of-the-art in-situ measurement techniques, such as Grazing-Incidence SAXS (GISAXS). We will report results showing how an ionomer's structure and swelling properties deviate from the bulk when it is thinner than 50 nm due to confinement2,3 and how these deviations are controlled by the substrate/film interactions.2 The collected data set will be analyzed to illustrate the bulk-to-film transition of ionomers of various equivalent weights used in fuel-cell membranes and CLs.
1. A. Z. Weber and A. Kusoglu, Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 2, 17207 (2014).
2. A. Kusoglu, D. Kushner, D. K. Paul, K. Karan, M. A. Hickner and A. Z. Weber, Adv Funct Mater, 24, 4763 (2014).
3. K. A. Page, A. Kusoglu, C. M. Stafford, S. Kim, R. J. Kline and A. Z. Weber, Nano Lett, 14, 2299 (2014).
This work made use of facilities at the Advanced Light Source (beamlines 7.3.3, 8.3.2 and 11.0.1), which is a user facility supported by the Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, of the U.S. Department of Energy. This work was funded by the Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Fuel Cell Technologies Office, of the U.S. Department of Energy under contract number DE-AC02-05CH11231.