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Relation structure-transport dans des membranes et matériaux modèles pour pile à combustible

Abstract : The optimization of the Fuel Cell’s performances (PEMFC) requires a microscopic understanding of the water and proton’s transport mechanism, which are confined in a polymer electrolyte membrane. The latter is nanostructured, charged and characterized by a complex and multi-scale water and proton dynamics, closely correlated to the confining morphology. We studied the structure-transport interplay in i) the Aquivion, a recent perfluorosulfonic ionomer exhibiting good performances in fuel cell, ii) “model” systems of perfluorosulfonic surfactants, which self-assemble in lamellar and hexagonal phases and iii) a new hybrid membrane doped with surfactant. The nanostructuration of the different systems has been studied by neutron and X-ray scattering, to characterize the structural evolution (host matrix geometry, confinement sizes) with hydration. Then, we probe the water dynamics at the molecular level (from picosecond to nanosecond) with Quasi-Elastic Neutron Scattering (QENS) and at the micrometric scale with Pulsed Field Gradient NMR. The comparison of commercial membranes and model systems bring new insight on the impact of the connectivity, the confinement and the geometry, on the ionic transport. Finally, high potential hybrid membranes have been obtained by doping Nafion and Aquivion with surfactants. Those new materials open a promising way for the preparation of highly anisotropic polymer membrane, with conducting path preferentially oriented.
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Quentin Berrod. Relation structure-transport dans des membranes et matériaux modèles pour pile à combustible. Science des matériaux [cond-mat.mtrl-sci]. Université de Grenoble, 2013. Français. ⟨NNT : 2013GRENY044⟩. ⟨tel-01558140⟩

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