The potential of the extremely high energy densities that may be possible with a hydrogenic fuel cell makes it an attractive alternative as a future microsystem power source. Additionally, the potential for integration of such devices could be enhanced if they were manufactured in a manner that is compatible with standard microelectronic and MEMS applications. A combination of silicon micromaching and direct writing was used to produce a microelectronic PEM fuel cell. The fuel cell was fabricated on a silicon wafer containing inter-digitated microchannels which were synthesized using an STS Systems Inc. deep reactive ion etcher. The anode and cathode composite materials were deposited using the MicroPen™. The MicroPen™ system is a fluid dispensing system that is capable of “writing” lines of materials with virtually any viscosity onto a wide range of potential substrates. Final assembly was accomplished by the application of a Nafion™ cover plate. These techniques were successfully employed to produce a working microelectronic fuel cell in silicon. The electrical characterization of the device demonstrated an open circuit voltage of 250 mV with a short circuit of 10 μA measured at room temperature when the cell was provided with hydrogen and oxygen at 1 ATM.
- Nanotechnology Institute
Microfabrication Procedures Applicable to Micro-Fuel Cell Design and Production
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Raffaelle, RP, Ruf, HJ, & Piscani, EC. "Microfabrication Procedures Applicable to Micro-Fuel Cell Design and Production." Proceedings of the ASME 2004 2nd International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology. 2nd International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology. Rochester, New York, USA. June 14–16, 2004. pp. 123-127. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/FUELCELL2004-2461
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