Fundamental Studies on the Dynamics and Energetics of Protic Ionic Liquids and Some Applications to Fuel Cells

Project: Research project

Project Details


This is a proposal for continuation funding of the exploration of protic systems in unusual domains of composition, ionicity and acidity, with the object of understanding,
better than currently, the factors that permit unimpeded translation of protons, i.e.
a proton mobility that is as independent of heavy atom motion as possible. It is a
collaborative study involving the complimentary expertises of investigators specializing
in synthesis and calorimetry, nuclear magnetic resonance, and electrical relaxation,
for which highly specialized equipment is available. We provide a detailed account of
the achievements of the past three years research, emphasizing the advances in
instrumentation, quantification of strong and super--acidity, and of ionicity that have
been achieved, and some parallel successes in the synthesis of membranes of exceptional performance in conductivity, power, and durability of fuel cells containing
them. The project has generated joint publications in the areas of instrumentation,
ionicity studies, and membrane characterization, as well as overview publications,
that are noted separately in the references section, File F. Looking towards extensions
of this work, we describe plans for the study of superacid systems that have non--volatile anionic components so that loss of gaseous components do not obviate the
study of proton motion at higher temperatures where the itinerant (or "free" proton
motion, that is a primary objective, will be favored. In the second component we note
the discovery of systems that have very high conductivity despite the absence of factors that lead to high ionicity --which we feel is a matter of great fundamental
interest. It is also one that our collaboration is well placed to characterize. There are
a number of inorganic bases that we plan to protonate to form inorganic protic ionic
liquids that, to the present time, have not been well investigated. Finally in this
fundamental area of investigation, we are anxious to extend our acidity range in
the other direction, namely to highly basic media. Accordingly, we outline initial ideas
to promote this objective. In each of these areas we will use power of NMR and high
frequency high field electrical relaxation to extend our knowledge of the mechanism
of proton motion, especially in cases where it appears to be "free". Finally, we consider
extensions of the promising membrane materials described in the achievements section, emphasizing the possibilities associated with some exceptional solid acids we
have discovered and patented in a separate program but now wish to take to advantage in the present project.
Effective start/end date5/1/158/31/19


  • DOD-ARMY-ARL: Army Research Office (ARO): $568,128.00


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