Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Eric Fossum (Advisor), Daniel M. Ketcha (Committee Member), Kenneth Turnbull (Committee Chair)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


A series of new sulfonated poly(arylene ether)s containing one sulfonic acid group, located on a pendant phenyl sulfonyl moiety, at every repeat unit was synthesized using 3-sulfonated-3', 5'-difluorophenyl Sulfone, 4, and a variety of bisphenols. A conventional nucleophilic aromatic substitution (NAS) was utilized for the homopolymerization and copolymerization reactions. Polymerization reactions of 4 in NMP at 180 °C provided the corresponding linear sulfonated poly(arylene ether)s, s-PAEs, with number average molecular weight, Mn, ranging from 10,000 to 38,000 Daltons. All of the polymers were characterized by 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The Tg values ranged from 264 °C to 296 °C for the salt form and 183 °C to 240 °C for the acid form. The Td5% values ranged from 311 °C to 472°C for the salt form and 307 °C to 367 °C for the acid form. All of the samples possessed excellent thermal stability. Furthermore, higher accessibility of the sulfonic acid groups was evident by observing increased solubility in hot water, which is presumed to construct a more efficient conductive pass way, thus increasing the proton conductivity of the newly developed systems. The polymer samples also formed tough peelable films when DMSO solutions were slowly evaporated on a glass slide. These new sulfonated polymers possess good properties and are excellent candidates for proton exchange membrane in fuel cell applications.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Chemistry

Year Degree Awarded


Included in

Chemistry Commons