(286c) Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems Based Design and Fabrication of Miniature Silicon Fuel Cells

Lin, K. Y., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Morgan, R. D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Zhu, L., University of Illinois
Kim, H. S., University of Illinois
Gurau, B., University of Illinois
Masel, R. I., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Portable devices have become much more feature packed and require much more power than before. However, they have been facing a persistent problem as rechargeable battery technology hasn't kept pace with the rapid advancements. Bridging that gap may now be possible through fuel cells, a clean energy technology that produces electricity from the electrochemical reactions between hydrogen and oxygen.

Recent interests [1-4] have been on MEMS-based microfabrication rather than traditional manufacturing processes due to ease of miniaturization and reduction of cost. Traditionally, fuel cells are built with separate manufactured pieces and then assembled at the end. The process is very costly, time consuming, and with high variability. With microfabrication, instead of assembling the separate parts, the fuels cells are made by addition and subtraction on a base structure. This is exactly the same way current microelectronic devices are made.

In this presentation, we will illustrate the design and fabrication of new MEMS-based fuel cells. Our approach is to work on single wafer MEMS fabrication along with a hybrid proton conducting membrane: silicon base structure filled with Nafion® ionomer solution.

[1] J.D. Morse, International Journal of Energy Research, 31, 2007, 576-602

[2] W.X. Ge, P. Cong, Nami Jishu yu Jingmi Gongcheng/Nanotechnology and Precision Engineering, 5, 2007, 182-189

[3] S. Motokawa, M. Mohamedi, T. Momma, S. Shoji, T. Osaka, Electrochemistry Communications, 6, 2004, 562-565

[4] Y. Yamazaki, Electrochimica Acta, 50, 2004, 663-666