This thesis narrates the analysis of a novel series of polybenzimidazole-based ionenes via X-ray scattering, neutron scattering, and molecular dynamics simulation. The ionenes have been reported as stable hydroxide-conducting solid polymer electrolytes. Robust anionexchange membranes with strong conductivity are necessary for the wide application of anion-exchange membrane fuel cells, which are a compelling alternative to the internal combustion engine. Three length scales were observed: ion-polymer, polymer-polymer (and ion-ion), and the monomer length. No structure was visible above the monomer length, which is rare in high-performance ion-conducting membranes. In a preliminary molecular dynamics simulation, water molcules were observed forming bridges between anions, even at a low level of hydration.
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Thesis advisor: Frisken, Barbara
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