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Elshad Allahyarov: „Current driven structural changes in Nafion-like ionomers”
Physics Department, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, USA

We present new findings on the morphological changes in Nafion-like ionomers induced by external perturbations. Under the impact of induced current the side chains undergo a self-organization into cylindrical clusters, with a hexagonal order, perpendicular to the current flow direction. At strong fields each of the rod-like clusters has an ordered inner structure: distinct wires of sulfonate head groups and energetically bound to them protons. Among the stable cylindrical cluster structures we found an exotic `spiral'-like arrangement of three sulfonic wires with four protonic chains. The resulting structural changes are irreversible such that the membrane has a `current pre-exposition' memory.