Two types of novel micro polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) for distributed micro-sensors and wireless microelectromechanical systems (MEMSs) have been manufactured on silicon and glass substrates using MEMS technology. Several tests using single cells were performed to make any problems clear. The maximum power density was less than 100 μW cm-2, and deteriorated gradually during the operation. This was because a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) was swelled by water generated at the cathode, and peeled off from the catalytic electrodes. Another micro PEFC which has mechanically clamped electroless-plated membrane electrode assembly (MEA) stably showed much higher power density. From these results, it is concluded that a stable contact between the PEM and the catalytic electrodes is critical for MEMS-based PEFCs. Also, the cyclic voltammetry of a Pt film on porous SiO2, which is used in MEMS-based PEFCs, suggested that it had insufficient catalytic activity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering