This study elucidates the charge transport processes of polyaniline (PANI) composite membranes and correlates them to the PANI deposition site and the extent of PANI surface layering on the base microporous membranes. PANI was deposited either as a surface layer or inside the pores of cellulose acetate microporous membranes using various in situ chemical polymerization techniques. The extent of PANI layering at the surface of the base membrane and its oxidation and doping states were characterized using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). PANI deposition on the membranes showed a strong dependence on the polymerization technique and polymerization time within a single technique. In XPS, the deconvolution of C 1s and N 1s core-level spectra of the composite membranes was used to quantify the extent of PANI layering at the surface along with its oxidation and doping states. PANI incompletely covered the surface of the base microporous membranes for all the employed techniques. However, the extent of the layering increased with the polymerization time in a particular technique. The charge transport through the bulk membrane and charge transfer at the membrane/electrode interface were studied by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The data were analyzed using the equivalent circuit modeling technique. The modeling parameters revealed that PANI deposition at the surface enhanced the interfacial charge transfer but the process depended on the extent of the surface coverage of the membrane. In addition, the charge transport in the bulk membrane depended on the PANI intercalation level, which varied depending on the polymerization technique employed. In addition, the EIS of electrolyte-soaked membranes was also conducted to evaluate the effects of PANI deposition site on charge transport in the presence of an electrolyte. PANI layering at the pore walls of the base membrane from diaphragmatic polymerization in a two-compartment cell showed that charge transport processes were strongly affected by the interaction of the electrolyte with the PANI layer at the pore surface. This study successfully showed the dependence of charge transport mechanisms of PANI composite membranes on the PANI deposition site and extent of surface layering at the membrane surface.
Qaiser, A. A., Hyland, M. M., & Patterson, D. A. (2011). Surface and Charge Transport Characterization of Polyaniline−Cellulose Acetate Composite Membranes. Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 115(7), 1652-1661. https://doi.org/10.1021/jp109455m