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Fluoropolymer-based nanostructured membranes created by swift-heavy-ion irradiation and their energy and environmental applications

Yamaki, Tetsuya*; Nuryanthi, N.*; Kitamura, Akane; Koshikawa, Hiroshi*; Sawada, Shinichi*; Voss, K.-O.*; Severin, D.*; Tautmann, C.*

We used individual single-ion tracks in fluoropolymers with diameters of tens to hundreds of nanometers; chemical etching and ion-track grafting enabled us to develop ion-track and proton-conductive membranes, respectively. In the ion-track membranes of PVDF, strongly-LET-dependent etching was found, so the pore shape as well as the size was exclusively controlled by the track structures. We performed the ion-track grafting of styrene into ETFE to develop nanostructure-controlled proton exchange membranes (PEMs) for applications in PEM fuel cells. Our ion beam technology to develop fluoropolymer-based nanostructures has the potential to apply in the field of filtration processes and fuel cell devices. This would make it possible to provide new microfiltration technology for water treatment, sterilization, petroleum refining and dairy processing.

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