Ion-Exchange-Induced Selective Etching for the Synthesis of Amino-Functionalized Hollow Mesoporous Silica for Elevated-High-Temperature Fuel Cells
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Â© 2017 American Chemical Society. As differentiated from conventional synthetic processes, amino-functionalized hollow mesoporous silica (NH 2 -HMS) has been synthesized using a new and facile strategy of ion-exchange-induced selective etching of amino-functionalized mesoporous silica (NH 2 -meso-silica) by an alkaline solution. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and in situ time-resolved small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) reveal that ion-exchange-induced selective etching arises from the gradient distribution of OH - in the NH 2 -meso-silica nanospheres. Moreover, the ion-exchange-induced selective etching mechanism is verified through a successful synthesis of hollow mesoporous silica. After infiltration with phosphotungstic acid (PWA), PWA-NH 2 -HMS nanoparticles are dispersed in the poly(ether sulfone)-polyvinylpyrrolidone (PES-PVP) matrix, forming a hybrid PWA-NH 2 -HMS/PES-PVP nanocomposite membrane. The resultant nanocomposite membrane with an optimum loading of 10 wt % of PWA-NH 2 -HMS showed an enhanced proton conductivity of 0.175 S cm -1 and peak power density of 420 mW cm -2 at 180 Â°C under anhydrous conditions. Excellent durability of the hybrid composite membrane fuel cell has been demonstrated at 200 Â°C. The results of this study demonstrated the potential of the facile synthetic strategy in the fabrication of NH 2 -HMS with controlled mesoporous structure for application in nanocomposite membranes as a technology platform for elevated-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells.
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