University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Enhanced Charge Transport Through Nanoconfinement

LEAD INVENTOR:
Sankaran Thayumanavan, Ph.D.
 
TECHNOLOGY DESCRIPTION
A team of accomplished researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has discovered a novel pathway for enhancing anhydrous proton transport in polymeric materials. This pathway entails generating supramolecular nanoscale confinement in polymers containing anhydrous proton transport functionalities. By carefully designing the polymer structures, the proton transport moieties of the polymers can be confined and organized within the nanoscale domains of the polymers via self-assembly, resulting in enhanced proton transport capabilities. This enhancement improves the conductivity of the polymers by 2-3 orders of magnitude. The high conductivities observed for the polymers with nanoconfinements are correlated with their ability to form locally high concentrations of proton transport moieties. These polymers allow high conductivities at high temperatures, which can increase fuel cell efficiency, lower cost, simplify heat management, and provide better tolerance of the fuel cell catalysts against poisoning.
ADVANTAGES

  • Nanoconfinement improves the conductivity of polymers by 2-3 orders of magnitude.
  • The novel polymers maintain high conductivity even above 100 °C, providing advantages over common proton exchange membranes, such as Nafion, that rely on solvent-assisted transport.
  • The novel polymers exhibit enhanced proton conductivity over a wide temperature range (40 to 200 °C tested) while remaining thermally stable.
  • Can potentially improve multiple aspects of fuel cell operation.
 
APPLICATIONS
Fuel cells, batteries, and solar cells
ABOUT THE INVENTOR
about the inventor content goes here
AVAILABILITY:
Available for Licensing or Sponsored Research
DOCKET:
UMA 10-09
PATENT STATUS:
US Patent 8,519,074 Issued
Contact:
Ling Shen
Senior Licensing Officer
University of Massachusetts
413-545-5276
lxshen@research.umass.edu
Inventor(s):
Ryan Hayward
Sankaran Thayumanavan
Mark Thomas Tuominen
Keywords: