Wed, August 01, 2007

Effects of solvent on microstructure and proton conductivity of organic–inorganic hybrid membranes

Our new paper entitled "Effects of solvent on microstructure and proton conductivity of organic–inorganic hybrid membranes" appeared on Polymer (Issue 19, 1 Aug. 2007).

So far we have investigated the microscopic structure and proton conductivity of organic-inorganic hybrids obtained by the sol-gel method. While dependence on the proton conductor, observation temperature and relative humidity are considered to be crucial parameters to analyze the conducting materials, we studied the effects of solvent on the structure and conductivity of the hybrids. Alcohols are commonly used solvent for the sol-gel synthesis since alkoxysilanes cannot dissolve in water. As the number of hydrocarbon increases, the solubility of silica clusters generally decreases and correspondingly the acidity decreases. Therefore methanol seems to be the most suitable solvent for the sol-gel synthesis in the presence of a catalysis.

On the other hand, one needs to consider competition between phase separation and the network formation when the reaction is carried out starting from a multi-functional monomer. In the case of organic-inorganic hybrids, inductive effect due to the presence of organic bridge, the resultant reactivity and branched structure must be taken into account. In this study, we investigated the effects of solvent upon microstructure and proton conductivity.

Link to the publisher.

posted at August 1, 2007 09:07 PM

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Polymer Molecular Engineering Laboratory
Department of Polymer Science and Engineering,
Kyoto Institute of Technology,
Matsugasaki, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8585, JAPAN