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Influence of the bisphenol structure on the direct synthesis of sulfonated poly(arylene ether) copolymers. I

New sulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone) copolymers with high molecular weights were successfully synthesized with controlled degrees of disulfonation of up to 70 mol % via the direct copolymerization of sulfonated aromatic dihalides, aromatic dihalides, and one of four structurally distinct bisphenols. The disodium salts of the 3,3'-disulfonated-4,4'-dichlorodiphenyl sulfone and 3,3'-disulfonated-4,4'-difluorodiphenyl sulfone comonomers were synthesized via the sulfonation of 4,4'-dichlorodiphenyl sulfone or 4,4'-difluorodiphenyl sulfone with 30% fuming sulfuric acid at 110 degreesC. Four bisphenols (4,4'-bisphenol A, 4,4'-bisphenol AF, 4,4'-biphenol, and hydroquinone) were investigated for the syntheses of novel copolymers with controlled degrees of sulfonation. The composition and incorporation of the sulfonated repeat unit into the copolymers were confirmed by H-1 NMR and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Solubility tests on the sulfonated copolymers confirmed that no crosslinking and probably no branching occurred during the copolymerizations. Tough, ductile films were solvent-cast that exhibited increased water absorption with increasing degrees of sulfonation. These copolymers are promising candidates for high temperature proton-exchange membranes in fuel cells, which will be reported separately in part II of this series. (C) 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Citation

Harrison, WL., Wang, F., Mecham, JB., Bhanu, VA., Hill, M., Kim, YS., & McGrath, JE. (2003). Influence of the bisphenol structure on the direct synthesis of sulfonated poly(arylene ether) copolymers. I. Journal of Polymer Science Part A-Polymer Chemistry, 41(14), 2264-2276. DOI: 10.1002/pola.10755

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