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Proceedings Paper

Miniaturized proton exchange fuel cell in micromachined silicon surface
Author(s): Giuseppe D'Arrigo; Corrado Spinella; Emanuele Rimini; Loredana Rubino; Simona Lorenti
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Paper Abstract

The increasing interest for light and movable electronic systems, cell phones and small digital devices, drives the technological research toward integrated regenerating power sources with small dimensions and great autonomy. Conventional batteries are already unable to deliver power in more and more shrunk volumes maintaining the requirements of long duration and lightweight. A possible solution to overcome these limits is the use of miniaturized fuel cell. The fuel cell offers a greater gravimetric energy density compared to conventional batteries. The micromachining technology of silicon is an important tool to reduce the fuel cell structure to micrometer sizes. The use of silicon also gives the opportunity to integrate the power source and the electronic circuits controlling the fuel cell on the same structure. This paper reports preliminary results concerning the micromachining procedure to fabricate an arrays of microchannels for a Si-based electrocatalytic membrane for miniaturized Si-based proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Several techniques are routinely used to fabricate arrays of microchannels embedded in crystalline silicon. In this paper we present an innovative microchannel formation process, entirely based on surface silicon micromachining, which allows us to produce rhomboidal microchannels embedded on (100) silicon wafers. Compared to the traditional techniques, the proposed process is extremely compatible with the standard microelectronics silicon technology. The kinetics of rhomboidal microchannel formation is monitored by cyclic voltammetry measurements and the results are compared with a detailed structural characterisation performed by scanning electron microscopy. The effectiveness of this process is discussed in view of the possible applications in the fuel cell application.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 January 2004
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5344, MEMS/MOEMS Components and Their Applications, (24 January 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.524446
Show Author Affiliations
Giuseppe D'Arrigo, CNR-IMM (Italy)
Corrado Spinella, CNR-IMM (Italy)
Emanuele Rimini, CNR-IMM (Italy)
Loredana Rubino, STMicroelectronics (Italy)
Simona Lorenti, STMicroelectronics (Italy)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5344:
MEMS/MOEMS Components and Their Applications
Siegfried W. Janson; Albert K. Henning, Editor(s)

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