Acidic Ion Exchange Membrane
Greg J. Schlichting and Andrew M. Herring
Summary: An acidic ion exchange membrane with very high proton conductivity
Description: Polymeric ion exchange membranes are an important component in a variety of
electrochemical devises. Ionic transport though the membrane at high temperatures and/or
low relative humidity is generally the rate-limiting component for most electrochemical devises.
This invention is of an ion exchange membrane that is composed of a copolymer of vinyl
phosphonic acid (VPA) and vinyl zirconium phosphorous (VZP) acid. Characterization of the
membrane has been accomplished using a variety of methods including FTIR, CP, MAS, NMR,
and AFM. These methods show an amorphous membrane, with fairly uniform dispersion
throughout the membrane, with very high proton conductivity. The polymerization
methodology allows for rapid production of the membrane and the VZP monomer. Ionic
transport through the membrane is high, on the order of 0.1 S/cm, which has the potential to
improve the commercial viability of fuel cells and new batteries.
Main Advantages of this Invention
 Uniformity
 High ionic transport
 Simple to manufacture
Potential Areas of Application
 Batteries
 Water filtration
 Hydrogen production
 Fuel Cells
ID number: 10012
Intel ectual Property Status: US 8,906,270
Publications: Schlichting et al., Macromolecules,
2012, 45, 3874-3883. (Available upon request.)
Opportunity: We are seeking an exclusive or non-
exclusive licensee for marketing, manufacturing, and
sale of this technology.
For more information contact:
William Vaughan, Director of Technology Transfer
Colorado School of Mines, 1500 Illinois Street, Guggenheim Hall Suite 314, Golden, CO 80401
Phone: 303-384-2555; e-mail: