Microfluidic Direct Methanol
Fuel Cells (microDMFCs)

The future of portable electronics requires efficient and small power sources to operate them. A focus of our group during the past several years has been in the development of microfluidic direct methanol fuel cells (mDMFCs), one of the most promising mobile technologies by which such power can be provided. Fuel cells can be considered chemical reactors designed to convert chemical reactant streams into electrical energy and chemical products. We have developed several novel prototypes (Figure 1 is but one example.) built on a layer-by-layer (LBL) assembly and what we term a “naked” chip platform. Figure 2 is a representative polarization curve for the mDMFC. Current work is focused on optimization and maximizing the efficiency of the microchips as well as in developing stacked assemblies.

 

Figure 1. Prototye microDMFC.

    Figure 2. Representative polarization curves for the micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS)-based DMFC.