Case 12912

Layer-by-layer assembly of very high ionic conductivity polymer electrolyte material for electrochemical devices

Keywords:

Polymer electrolyte film, layer by layer assembly, electrochemical device, methanol permeability, ionic conductivity, electrolyte system, solid polymer, thin film electrolytes, membrane, fuel cell

Applications:

Electrochemical devices comprising a solid polymer electrolyte; hydrogen and direct methanol fuel cells

Problem:

    Ionic conductivity of polymer electrolyte components in electrochemical devices

Technology:

This invention is a method to assemble a highly conducting, hydrolytically stable polymer electrolyte film from commercially available, water-soluble polymers using layer-by-layer assembly technology. These films can be used for electrochemical device applications which require an ion-conducting material to operate. This system also allows for high composition control through adjusting the initial assembly conditions, nanometer-level thickness accuracy, and highly adaptable aqueous processing conditions. Assembly conditions of these systems, such as pH and ionic strength, are adjusted to achieve the desired properties of resulting films. In addition, these films can be deposited on low surface energy substrates and can be easily removed to produce “free standing” films, which can be directly used in electrochemical devices.

Advantages:
  • Capable of maximum ionic conductivity, over 300x higher than previously reported layer-by-layer films
  • At least 100x lower methanol permeability values compared to current industry standard materials

Inventors:
  • Professor Paula Hammond (Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT)
  • JRoderick R. Kurz (Lincoln Laboratory, MITAvni Argun (Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT)
  • James Ashcraft (Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT)

Intellectual Property:

U.S. Patent Application Number 12/364138, filed February 2, 2009

Publications:

Argun, A. A.; Ashcraft, J. N.; Hammond, P. T. “Highly Conductive, Methanol Resistant Polyelectrolyte Multilayers” Advanced Materials, 20(8), 1539-1543. (2008)

Last revised:November 5, 2010

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