Branched Polymer Materials as Proton Exchange Membranes for Fuel Cell Applications

Sivasubramaniyan Neelakandan, Li Wang, Boping Zhang, Jiangpeng Ni, Meishao Hu, Chunmei Gao, Wai Yeung Wong, Lei Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Recent progress on branched polymer membranes as electrolyte materials for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) applications has attracted interest due to the limitations of commercially available Nafion® membranes. Branched polymer membranes have shown improved chemical stability, proton conductivity, and good solubility. The branching degree and the structure of the branching agent have an essential correlation with the characteristics of the polymer membranes. This review presents the most recent and promising design strategies and characteristics of branched polymers as proton exchange membranes for both low- and high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Recent advances in branched polymers are summarized, including branched sulfonated poly(aryl ether)s, branched sulfonated polyimides, branched polybenzimidazoles, etc. The remaining challenges and prospects in proton exchange membranes are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-295
Number of pages35
JournalPolymer Reviews
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2021


  • Branched polymer
  • fuel cell
  • polyarylene ether
  • polybenzimidazole
  • polyimide
  • proton exchange membrane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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