Ionic nanopeapods: Next-generation proton conducting membranes based on phosphotungstic acid filled carbon nanotube
Here we demonstrate enhanced proton conduction through polyelectrolyte matrices comprising nanopeapods of phosphotungstic acid (PWA) filled carbon nanotubes (CNTs). The ionic nanopeapods were found to provide rapid proton conduction pathways to design nanocomposite proton exchange membranes (PEMs) for high-performance fuel cell applications. Nanopeapod (0.5 wt%) incorporated Nafion-based PEMs offer improved proton conductivity, especially at elevated temperatures and low-humidity (0.202 S cm−1 compared with 0.132 S cm−1 for recast Nafion membrane at 90 °C), and about four times higher maximum power density at 40% R.H. and 120 °C (302 mW cm−2vs. 84 mW cm−2 for recast Nafion).