Sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone)s (SPEEKs) were further substituted on the polymer main chain by nitration. All sulfonation and nitration were achieved with an inexpensive and simple post substitute reaction. The nitrated SPEEKs have a high glass transition temperature and thermal decomposition temperature, and a lower water uptake than SPEEK, which provides sufficient mechanical strength without swelling in the direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) application. The methanol permeability of nitrated SPEEKS is reduced to 1.76 × 10-7 cm2 s-1 for S53N22 and 1.86 × 10-7 cm2 s-1 for S63N17 with no loss of conductivity in the DMFC application, and a proton conductivity that reached 0.026 S cm-1. The nitrated SPEEK membranes satisfy the requirements of proton-exchange membranes for the DMFC.
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