Design, fabrication, and characterization of a planar, silicon-based, monolithically integrated micro laminar flow fuel cell with a bridge-shaped microchannel cross-section

P. O. López-Montesinos, N. Yossakda, A. Schmidt, F. R. Brushett, W. E. Pelton, P. J.A. Kenis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We report the fabrication of a planar, silicon-based, monolithically integrated micro laminar flow fuel cell (μLFFC) using standard MEMS and IC-compatible fabrication technologies. The μLFFC operates with acid supported solutions of formic acid and potassium permanganate, as a fuel and oxidant respectively. The micro-fuel cell design features two in-plane anodic and cathodic microchannels connected via a bridge to confine the diffusive liquid-liquid interface away from the electrode areas and to minimize crossover. Palladium high-active-surface-area catalyst was selectively integrated into the anodic microchannel by electrodeposition, whereas no catalyst was required in the cathodic microchannel. A three-dimensional (3D) diffusion-convection model was developed to study the behavior of the diffusion zone and to extract appropriate cell-design parameters and operating conditions. Experimentally, we observed peak power densities as high as 26 mW cm-2 when operating single cells at a flow rate of 60 μL min-1 at room temperature. The miniature membraneless fuel cell design presented herein offers potential for on-chip power generation, which has long been prohibited by integration complexities associated with the membrane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4638-4645
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Volume196
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - May 15 2011

Keywords

  • Formic acid
  • Laminar flow
  • Membraneless
  • Micro-fuel cell
  • Monolithic
  • Planar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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