Passive direct formic acid microfabricated fuel cells

J. Yeom, R. S. Jayashree, C. Rastogi, M. A. Shannon, P. J.A. Kenis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper reports on microscale silicon-based direct formic acid fuel cells (Si-DFAFCs) in which the fuel and the oxidant are supplied to the electrodes in a passive manner. Passive delivery of fuel and oxidant eliminates the need for ancillary components and associated parasitic losses. In this Si-DFAFC, an aqueous solution of formic acid is in direct contact with a Pd- or Pt-based anode and a Pt-based cathode is exposed to either a forced oxygen stream or quiescent air. In the presence of a forced oxygen flow on the cathode side the cell with Pd catalyst on the anode delivers a maximum power density of about 30 mW cm-2 at room temperature, limited mostly by mass transfer at the anode, while in an all-passive mode (quiescent air on the cathode side) a maximum power density of 12.3 mW cm-2 is obtained, limited by oxygen transport. This all-passive Si-DFAFC is fabricated using processes that are post-CMOS compatible, and thus can be integrated directly with envisioned MEMS applications, such as small sensors and actuators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1058-1064
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Issue number2 SPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - Oct 6 2006


  • Formic acid
  • Membrane electrode assembly
  • Micro fuel cell
  • Passive fuel cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrochemistry
  • Fuel Technology
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Energy (miscellaneous)


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