Associate Prof. Takahiro Ichikawa’s group from Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology made significant achievement on proton conductive electrolytes and published their work on Advanced Materials.

Infinite periodic minimal surfaces (IPMSs) are a class of surfaces that periodically continue in a 3D manner. For the development of substance-transport pathways, the use of IPMSs is of interest.

 

Here, a hydrophilic IPMS with a few nanometer lattice is made via the co-organization of zwitterions and acids into bicontinuous cubic liquid-crystalline phases.

Then the 3D liquid-crystalline structures are successfully fixed upon the glass transitions.

 

The obtained glassy liquid crystals can incorporate water with keeping the 3D periodicity, leading to the formation of a 3D continuous proton conduction pathways along the IPMS. Ionic conductivity of 1.0 × 10-5 S cm-1 is achieved for the glassy materials due to its 3D continuity and the zwitterionic structures.

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