Ozone was reacted with the aromatic membrane polyetheretherketone (PEEK) to form oxidized functional groups on the surface to enhance the attraction and transport of protons in fuel cells. Ozonation of unsaturated C-C sp2 bonds in PEEK formed a primary ozonide which dissociated to primarily produce O=C-O/O=C-OH moieties, and the root mean squared roughness factor (Rq) decreased from 7.4 nm, for the untreated sample, down to 3.1 nm. The oxidation of the surface and decrease in surface roughness made the surface increase in hydrophilicity as observed by the decrease in the water contact angle (CA) from 80.3° for untreated PEEK down to 21.7°. Washing the treated surface with solvent decreased the O at % on the surface indicating the formation of a weak boundary layer because of bond breakage during the decomposition of the ozonide.
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Heineman H, Omar O, Rippel B, Keeley R, Mehan M, Gupta S, Takacs GA. Enhancing the Wettability of Polyetheretherketone (Peek) Membrane with Ozone for Improving Fuel Cell Performance. Journal of Energy and Power Technology 2022;4(4):13; doi:10.21926/jept.2204040.
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