Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Chemistry


Chemistry and Biochemistry

First Advisor

Jason Ritchie

Second Advisor

Adam Smith

Third Advisor

Murrell Godfrey

Relational Format



Anhydrous H+ ion conducting and high temperature capability of polymer electrolytes are being investigated for use in applications such as batteries, fuel cells, electro chromic windows and light emitting devices. Fuel cells are efficient electrochemical energy conversion devices; they can generate greener energy from chemical fuels. The polymer electrolyte membrane is heart of most fuel cell designs separating the oxidant and fuel chambers and providing the medium to conduct H+ ions between the anode and the cathode. Our goal is to understand the molecular level details of anhydrous H+ conductivity through the synthesis and characterization of polymer electrolytes based on polyethylene glycols (MePEGn) changing the chemical structures and other physical properties (Volume fraction of PEG, Free volume, Glass transition temperature, Viscosity) to approach for practical applications. Changing the chemical structure of the polymer electrolytes can alter their transport properties for better performance of the fuel cell. Acid dissociation constant studies of MePEGnSO3H acids observed strong acid behavior of acids in the aqueous medium and they incompletely dissociate in the MePEGn polymers.

Included in

Chemistry Commons


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