Crosslinked anion exchange membranes with connected cations

Wenxu Zhang, Ye Liu, Xiaohui Liu, James L. Horan, Ying Jin, Xiaoming Ren, S. Piril Ertem, Soenke Seifert, Matthew W. Liberatore, Andrew M. Herring, Edward Bryan Coughlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The selective transport of ions has crucial importance in biological systems as well as modern-day energy devices, such as batteries and fuel cells, and water purification membranes. Control over ion movement can be exerted by ligation, ion channel dimensions, solvation, and electrostatic interactions. Polyelectrolyte hydrogels can provide aligned pathways for counter ion transport but lack mechanical integrity, while polyelectrolyte membranes typically suffer from the absence of an ion transport channel network. To develop polymer membranes for improved ion transport, we present the design of a novel material that combines the advantages of aligned pathways found in polyelectrolyte hydrogel and mechanical robustness in conventional membranes. The ionic species were organized via controlled copolymerization of a quaternizable monomer. Additionally, dimensional stability was then incorporated through a cast/crosslinking method to lock in the network of connected cationic groups. This strategy resulted in dramatically enhanced ion transport, as characterized by ionic conductivities (>80 mS/cm for Cl, and ∼200 mS/cm for OH).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)618-625
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Army Research Office through a MURI award, W911NF-10-1-0520, and the central analytical facilities used in these investigations are supported by the NSF-Sponsored MRSEC at UMass Amherst. This research used resources of the Advanced Photon Source, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility operated for the DOE Office of Science by Argonne National Laboratory under contract no. DE-AC02?06CH11357.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • conductivity
  • crosslinking
  • ion exchange membrane
  • membranes
  • networks
  • polyelectrolytes

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