Highly dense sulfonic acid-functionalized mesoporous electrolytes with high proton conductivity under dry conditions were prepared using tetramethoxysilane and 3-mercaptopropyltrimethoxysilane in the presence of surfactants. Impedance spectroscopy and quasielastic neutron scattering measurements showed that the proton conductive properties of the mesoporous electrolytes depended significantly on the sulfonic acid densities on the surface of the mesoporous walls. This finding was also supported by molecular dynamics simulations. The proton conductivity of the mesoporous electrolyte with the highest acid density of 3.1 SO3H molecules/nm2 showed a value of 0.3 mS/cm at 433 K even under dry conditions. This value was higher than that for Nafion by about 2 orders of magnitude. Such high proton conductivity is thought to be induced by proton hopping in the hydrogen-bonded networks that were predominantly formed by neighboring sulfonic acid groups.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films