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The University of Southampton

Hydrocarbon, Solid Polymer Electrolytes for Acidic and Alkaline Electrochemical Devices  Seminar

21 March 2016
Building 27, Room 2003 (L/R 2) Chemistry University of Southampton SO17 1BJ

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Nuria Garcia-Araez at .

Event details

Steven Holdcroft presents a seminar as part of the Electrochemistry Research Section's seminar series.


Full scale commercialization of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) is imminent yet fundamental knowledge in specialized areas is still required in order to resolve persistent technical barriers associated with high materials costs and limited reliability, versatility, and performance.

Perfluorinated proton-exchange polymers form the basis of standard high-performance PEMFCs but difficult synthetic chemistry hampers further materials development. Hydrocarbon proton-exchange materials, on the other hand, are founded on well-established and versatile synthetic chemistry that allows for rapid materials development, and offer a less expensive alternative to perfluorinated polymers. In the corollary case of Anion Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells, the search continues for an alkaline-stable, polymeric hydroxide-conducting medium. Solutions to these challenges require the undertaking of rigorous systematic studies on model polymers and representative materials of known and controllable molecular structure and preferred nano-morphology. In this presentation the evolution and properties of unique proton- and hydroxide-conducting polymers being developed at Simon Fraser University will be described.


  • “Structurally-Defined, Sulfo-Phenylated, Oligophenylenes and Polyphenylenes”, J. Am. Chem. Soc, 137 (2015) 12223-12226.
  • “Alcohol-Soluble, Sulfonated Poly(arylene ether)s: Investigation of Hydrocarbon Ionomers for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Catalyst Layers”, J. Electrochem. Soc., 162 (2015) F513-F518.
  • “Hydroxide-Stable Ionenes”, ACS Macro Letters, 3 (5) (2014) 444-447.
  • "Poly(phenylene) and m-Terphenyl as Powerful Protecting Groups for the Preparation of Stable Organic Hydroxides”, Angewandte Chemie, accepted Jan 2016.
  • “The Control and Effect of Pore Size Distribution in AEMFC Catalyst Layers”, J. Electrochem. Soc, 163 (5) (2016) F1-F6.


Speaker information

Dr Steven Holdcroft, Department of Chemistry, Simon Fraser University, Canada. Dr. Steven Holdcroft is a Professor of Chemistry and Departmental Chair at Simon Fraser University (SFU). He has research programs in π-conjugated polymers, ionic polymers, electrochemistry, organic electronics and fuel cell technology. He is author/co-author of more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and several book chapters and patents. He has served on numerous research advisory boards throughout North America, Europe and Asia, and is the current Group Chair of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery Grant Evaluation Group for Chemistry (EG1504). In 2012, he established a NSERC-APC national network “Catalysis Research for Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells (CaRPE-FC)” for academic/industry/government researchers, and is its current Technical Director. He was the Technical Program Chair and Congress Vice-Chair of Pacifichem 2015. He serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of the journals Chemistry of Materials and Energy and Environmental Science, and until very recently, Polymer Chemistry. For services to the community was awarded the Macromolecular Science and Engin¬eering Division Award of the Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC) and is an elected Fellow of the CIC. He is the 2015 recipient of the Canadian Society of Canada RioTinto Alcan Award for contributions to Inorganic chemistry or electrochemical research.

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