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Keith Promislow : Network formation in Ionomer Membranes

Functionalized polymer membranes have a strong affinity for solvent, imbibing it to form charge-lined networks which serve as charge-selective ion conductions in a host of energy conversion applications. We present a continuum model, based upon a reformulation of the Cahn-Hilliard free energy, which incorporates solvation energy and counter-ion entropy to stabilize a host of network morphologies. We derive geometric evolution for co-dimension 1 bilayers and co-dimension two pore morphologies and show that the system possesses a simple mechanism for competitive evolution of co-existing networks through the common far-field chemical potential.

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