Ionically cross-linked ionomers have been developed via sol-gel chemistry by introducing poly(vinylimidazole)-functionalized mercaptopropyltrimethoxysilane into Nafion. The cross-linked polysiloxane framework endows the membrane with homogeneity and good stability. The ionical cross-linking enables the self-assembly between the inorganic framework and Nafion, which produces concentrated and inter-connected channels. This structure offers a practicably effective blocking effect to minimize the methanol cross-over problem in DMFCs, and improves the power output by 35% in comparison with a commercial Nafion membrane.
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