Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

William Feld (Committee Member), Eric Fossum (Advisor), Kenneth Turnbull (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


A series of hydroquinone-based poly(arylene ether) copolymers, with truly pendent sulfonated phenyl sulfonyl groups and either benzothiazole or benzoxazole groups was synthesized for use as proton exchange membranes (PEM). Two homopolymers series, benzothiazole and benzoxazole based, were prepared via meta activated nucleophilic aromatic substitution polycondensation reactions. Two copolymer series of N-heterocyclic and sulfonated phenyl sulfonyl groups were synthesized via a similar method. The ratio of 3,5-difluoro-3'-sulfonated diphenylsulfone to 2-[3,5-bis-(4-hydroxyphenoxy)]benzothiazole or 2-[3,5-bis-(4-hydroxyphenoxy)]benzoxaole was varied to afford ion-exchange capacities ranging from 0.60 to 1.39 meq and 0.62 to 1.42 meq, respectively. Polymers were characterized by gel permeation chromatography (GPC), 13C NMR spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The copolymers displayed low water uptake values, moderate glass transition temperatures (>175°C), and excellent thermal stability in excess of 285°C These materials are promising candidates for use as proton exchange membranes under low relative humidity conditions.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Chemistry

Year Degree Awarded


Included in

Chemistry Commons