Sony Improves Molecular Structure of Fullerene Membrane

May 23, 2002 by Jeff Shepard

The Materials Laboratories of Sony Corp. (Tokyo) have improved the molecular structure of a proton conductor of a fullerene system being developed as a solid electrolytic membrane for fuel cells. The company intends to improve the basic properties, such as the proton conductivity.

The study results were shown by Masafumi Ata, head of Sony's pie-electron materials research group, Materials Laboratories, who gave a lecture on the application of nanocarbons to energy electronics. The newly developed product can enhance the proton conductivity by chemically combining with C60, a functional group different from the hydroxyl group.

The company is doing research on the improvement of structural membranes. Usually, a porous membrane carrying particles of a proton conductor of the fullerene system is used. However, Sony is considering the use of a structural substance produced by the materials of a fullerene system only, namely, a polymer of a proton conductor of the fullerene system.