Thermally and chemically stable proton conductors were prepared via surface-sulfonation of sol-gel-derived phenylsilsesquioxane-methylsilsesquioxane (PhSiO3/2-MeSiO3/2) particles in a range from 250 to 650 nm in diameter. MeSiO3/2component was indispensable to improve the chemical durability against sulfonation solvent. Proton conductivity of the pelletized samples prepared using the sulfonated PhSiO3/2-MeSiO3/2particles increased linearly with increasing the ion exchange capacity (IEC) of the particles. The mobility (μ) of proton was calculated to be 0.3 × 10- 4 cm2/V s. Porous PhSiO3/2-MeSiO3/2particles prepared using a cationic surfactant of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) as a template of pores showed higher both IEC and water uptake, leading to an increase in proton conductivity to ∼ 10- 2 S/cm at 80 °C and 80% relative humidity. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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