Volume 90 Issue 17 | p. 33 | Concentrates
Issue Date: April 23, 2012

Phosphoric Acid Transfers Protons Cooperatively

Study may lead to improvements in proton-conducting fuel-cell electrolytes
Department: Science & Technology
Keywords: proton transfer, proton conduction, hydrogen bond, phosphoric acid, H3PO4, molecular dynamics

High proton conductivity in liquid phosphoric acid arises from concerted transfer across chains of H3PO4 molecules rather than through individual transfer events (Nat. Chem., DOI: 10.1038/nchem.1329). Neat liquid phosphoric acid has the highest known intrinsic proton conductivity, and understanding the mechanism may help improve proton-conducting fuel-cell electrolytes. In the new work, a team led by Mark E. Tuckerman of New York University and Klaus-Dieter Kreuer of . . .

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