Icon for: Jeffrey Clark


University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Years in Grad School: 3
Judges’ Queries and Presenter’s Replies
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Presentation Discussion
  • Icon for: Hainsworth Shin

    Hainsworth Shin

    May 21, 2012 | 11:02 p.m.

    Nice presentation.

    The basic question I have is why did you choose Meta Bis Acid, Ortho Bis Acid, and PFIA as the “test” molecules for your model. Also, although you nicely explained the behavior of these molecules, what was the basic objective of the study or hypothesis?


  • Icon for: Jeffrey Clark

    Jeffrey Clark

    Lead Presenter
    May 23, 2012 | 06:32 p.m.

    Thank you very much. The meta bis acid, ortho bis acid, and PFIA ionomers are currently developed by 3M with whom I collaborate. Currently the most widely used proton exchange membrane ionomer for fuel cell application is Nafion which only exhibits high proton conductivity at high levels of hydration which places restrictions and adversely affects various aspects of the fuel cell. As such, immense efforts have been made in the development of membrane materials that show high proton conductivity at low levels of hydration. The materials in this study have been experimentally shown to exhibit higher proton conductivity at lower hydration levels than Nafion, but the exact molecular-level features that contribute to the improved proton mobility in these materials are not entirely understood. Since few experimental techniques are capable of resolving information such as the formation and breaking of hydrogen bonds in these highly complex systems, ab initio molecular modeling techniques have been extensively employed in attempts to uncover the underlying characteristics contributing to proton mobility. The primary objective of this study was to provide some fundamental relative insight into how protogenic group separation, specific side chain chemistry, and local hydration have in facilitating proton dissociation and transfer within materials of this type.

    Thank you

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