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Neutrons for Science and Industry

Synthesis and structure-property of polymer electrolytes for fuel cell and battery applications

by Prof. Giuseppe Portale (Faculty of Science and Engineering Macromolecular Chemistry & New Polymeric Materials — Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, University of Groningen, The Netherlands)

PH HS 3 (Physics Department)


Physics Department

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Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Portale

Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, University of Groningen, the Netherlands


The impelling need to limit human-caused climate change is forcing the world to find solutions to move away from a petroleum-based economy and to drastically reduce the carbon footprint. To achieve this, countries are engaging in green deals where no single technology will be enough to accommodate the green transition.  As a result, we are observing massive investments and developments in photovoltaics and clean electrochemical devices. Among the electrochemical devices, fuel cell- and battery-related technologies are progressing fast. Despite these two systems work in a different way, they are interesting for polymer scientists as polymer electrolytes that allow ions to move between electrodes are used in these devices. The performance of the polymer electrolyte is often the limiting factor and improved and new polymeric materials need to be developed.

In this talk I will show examples about the synthesis and structure-property studies of solid polymer electrolytes for fuel-cell and battery applications. In both cases our aim is to tackle the limitations found for the standard benchmark materials such as Nafion for fuel cells and poly(ethylene oxide) for solid state batteries by developing alternative materials exhibiting very similar or superior performances. For full cell applications, I will illustrate the development of fluorine-free polymer electrolyte membranes based on homo- and block-copolymers [1,2] for low and high-temperature fuel cells [3]. For battery applications, I will instead illustrate an alternative polymer electrolyte such as poly(allyl-glycidyl ether), a versatile platform to create different polyelectrolytes by post-grafting chemical modification[4].



[1] Viviani, M., Lova, P., & Portale, G. (2021). Macromolecular Rapid Communications, 42(12), 2000717.

[2] Viviani, M., Fluitman, S. P., Loos, K., & Portale, G. (2021). Polymer Chemistry, 12(17), 2563-2571.

[3] Viviani, M., Fluitman, S. P., Loos, K., & Portale, G. (2020). ACS Applied Energy Materials, 3(8), 7873-7884.

[4] Viviani, M., Meereboer, N. L., Saraswati, N. L. P. A., Loos, K., & Portale, G. (2020). Polymer Chemistry, 11(12), 2070-2079.

Organized by

Dr. Jitae Park
Dr. Theresia Heiden-Hecht
Dr. Apostolos Vagias

Hybrid Zoom link (5th June 2023)
VC Room link
password: 853708