Planar micro-direct methanol fuel cell prototyped by rapid powder blasting
We present a planar micro-direct methanol fuel cell (μ−DMFC) fabricated by rapid prototyping powder blasting technology. Using an elastomeric mask, we pattern two parallel microfluidic channels in glass. The anode and cathode of the fuel cell are formed by wet spraying Pt-Ru/C and Pt/C catalysts, respectively, onto Au electrodes that are evaporated in the microchannels. Simply clamping a Nafion 117 Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) using a glass substrate covered with PDMS membrane onto the microchannels completes the fuel cell fabrication. Our μ−DMFC generates a voltage of 0.45 V and can deliver a power up to 0.5 mW/cm2 by using 1 M CH3OH in 0.5 M H2SO4 solution as fuel in the anodic channel, and 0.01 M H2O2 in 0.5 M H2SO4 as oxidant solution in the cathodic channel.