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Measurement of Water Uptake and States in Nafion Membranes Using Humidity-Controlled Terahertz Time-Domain Spectroscopy

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>20/05/2024
<mark>Journal</mark>ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Issue number20
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)7924-7934
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date8/05/24
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Perfluorinated sulfonic acid ionomers are well known for their unique water uptake properties and chemical/mechanical stability. Understanding their performance–stability trade-offs is key to realizing membranes with optimal properties. Terahertz time-domain spectroscopy has been demonstrated to resolve water states inside industrially relevant membranes, producing qualitatively agreeable results to conventional gravimetric analysis and prior demonstrations. Using the proposed humidity-controlled terahertz time-domain spectroscopy, here we quantify this detailed water information inside commercially available Nafion membranes at various humidities for direct comparison against literature values from dynamic vapor sorption, differential scanning calorimetry, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy on selected samples. Using this technique therefore opens up opportunities for rapid future parameter space investigation for membrane optimization.