Water dynamics within a highly rigid sulfonated polyphenylene

Lliin He, Chris J. Cornelius, Dvora Perahia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Complex water molecule interactions within the confined environments of a sulfonated polyphenylene (sPP) ionomer were studied using 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Multiple water environments were observed due to variations in hydrophilicity created by its structure, and chemical composition. Confined water properties are strongly dependent upon water content, degree of ionization, and temperature. Increasing the degree of sulfonation (DS) results in the creation of more water states and sites. The chemical shifts of water depend upon its environment with a smaller dependence on temperature. Confined water relaxation time T1 is than significantly lower bulk water and increases with temperature. Pulse field gradient (PFG) NMR studies reveals that water self-diffusion coefficients increase with. Water molecules diffuse faster in sPP than Nafion™, which implies that diffusion is facilitated by bundled hydrophilic pathways. Time-dependent FTIR reveals that bound water evaporates slower than unbound water during drying, which illustrates the difference of bulk and confined water within sPP ionomers. Hindered water evaporation is due to a reduction in the degrees of freedom for ion containing domains and mass transfer limitations at interfacial boundaries between hydrophobic and hydrophilic domains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-173
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Polymer Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • FTIR
  • Polyphenylene ionomers
  • Pulse field gradient (PFG) NMR
  • Water molecules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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