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International Journal of Electrochemistry
Volume 2012, Article ID 349435, 9 pages
Research Article

Modification of Nafion Membranes by IL-Cation Exchange: Chemical Surface, Electrical and Interfacial Study

1Departamento de Física Aplicada I, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Málaga, 29071 Málaga, Spain
2Departamento de Química Inorgánica, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Málaga, 29071 Málaga, Spain

Received 4 September 2011; Revised 19 December 2011; Accepted 2 January 2012

Academic Editor: Oliver Höfft

Copyright © 2012 V. Romero et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Bulk and surface changes in two proton-exchange membranes (Nafion-112 and Nafion-117) as a result of the incorporation of the IL-cation n-dodecyltriethylammonium (or DTA+) by a proton/cation exchange mechanism after immersion in a DTA+ aqueous solution were analysed by impedance spectroscopy (IS), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and contact angle measurements performed with dry samples of the original Nafion and Nafion-DTA+-modified membranes. Only slight differences were obtained in the incorporation degree and surface chemical nature depending on the membrane thickness, and DTA+ incorporation modified both the hydrophobic character of the original Nafion membranes and their thermal stability. Electrical characterization of the dry Nafion-112 membrane was performed by impedance spectroscopy while different HCl solutions were used for membrane potential measurements. A study of time evolution of the impedance curves measured in the system “IL aqueous solution/Nafion-112 membrane/IL aqueous solution” was also performed. This study allows us monitoring the electrical changes associated to the IL-cation incorporation in both the membrane and the membrane/IL solution interface, and it provides supplementary information on the characteristic of the Nafion/DTA+ hybrid material. Moreover, the results also show the significant effect of water on the electrical resistance of the Nafion-112/IL-cation-modified membrane.