Single-Layer Graphene as a Highly Selective Barrier for Vanadium Crossover with High Proton Selectivity

Saheed Bukola, Zhaodong Li, Jason Zack, Christopher Antunes, Carol Korzeniewski, Glenn Teeter, Jeffrey Blackburn, Bryan Pivovar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus Citations


We report near-zero crossover for vanadium cross-permeation through single-layer graphene immobilized at the interface of two Nafion® polymer electrolyte membranes. Vanadium ion diffusion and migration, including proton mobility through membrane composites, were studied with and without graphene under diffusion and migration conditions. Single-layer graphene was found to effectively inhibit vanadium ion diffusion and migration under specific conditions. The single-layer graphene composites also enabled remarkable ion transmission selectivity improvements over pure Nafion® membranes, with proton transport being four orders of magnitude faster than vanadium ion transport. Resistivity values of 0.02 ± 0.005 Ω cm2 for proton and 223 ± 4 Ω cm2 for vanadium ion through single atomic layer graphene are reported. This high selectivity may have significant impact on flow battery applications or for other electrochemical devices where proton conductivity is required, and transport of other species is detrimental. Our results emphasize that crossover may be essentially completely eliminated in some cases, enabling for greatly improved operational viability.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)419-430
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Energy Chemistry
StatePublished - Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Science Press

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-76991


  • 2D nanomaterial
  • Ion selectivity
  • Polymer electrolyte membrane
  • Redox flow battery
  • Single-layer graphene
  • Vanadium crossover


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