UMass Boston News

Chemistry Colloquium: Professor Chulsung Bae, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Event Date: December 04, 2013 - 11 a.m.
Location: Science Center, Chemistry Conference Room (Science S01-0089)

University of Massachusetts Boston

Department of Chemistry

Chemistry Colloquium

Superacidic Sulfonated Aromatic Polymers for High Performance Fuel Cell Membranes

Prof. Chulsung Bae (contact:

Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York State Center for Polymer Synthesis, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 110 8th Street, Troy, New York 12180, USA

Wednesday, December 4, 2013 | 12:00 pm

Chemistry Conference Room (Science S01-0089)

Chulsung Bae

Proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is an environmentally friendly energy conversion device, and its power output is critically dependent on the performance of proton exchange membrane (PEM). Perfluorinated sulfonic acid ionomers such as Nafion are state-of-the-art PEMs, but they suffer from high cost and moderate operation temperature. Thus, it is highly desirable to develop low-cost, readily tunable, high-performance PEMs based on hydrocarbon polymers.

The Bae group at RPI developed a controlled functionalization of aromatic polymers using transition metal-catalyzed functionalization of aromatic C-H bonds. Using this novel synthetic method, we have recently synthesized highly conductive poly(arylene ether sulfone) PEMs containing sulfonate groups with different acidity strengths (fluoroalkylsulfonic, arylsulfonic, and alkylsulfonic acid groups). How these different sulfonate groups of PEM critically influence on their proton transport properties, especially at low relative humidity, will be presented.

For disability-related accommodations, including dietary accommodations, please visit two weeks prior to the event.