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Quantum beam technology; Nanostructured proton-conductive membranes prepared by swift heavy ion irradiation for fuel cell applications

Yamaki, Tetsuya; Kobayashi, Misaki*; Asano, Masaharu; Nomura, Kumiko*; Takagi, Shigeharu*; Maekawa, Yasunari; Yoshida, Masaru*

My presentation deals with the application of high-energy heavy ion beams from the cyclotron accelerator of Takasaki Ion Accelerators for Advanced Radiation Application (TIARA), JAEA. Our strategic focus is centered on using nano-scale controllability of the ion-beam processing; the membrane preparation involves (1) the irradiation of commercially-available base polymer films with hundreds of MeV ions, (2) graft polymerization of vinyl monomers into electronically-excited parts along the ion trajectory, called latent tracks, and (3) sulfonation of the graft polymers. Interestingly, the resulting membranes exhibited anisotropic proton transport, i.e., higher conductivity in the thickness direction. According to microscopic observations, this is probably because the columnar electrolyte phase extended, with a width of tens-to-hundreds nanometers, through the membrane.

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