Rapid fabrication of microfluidic polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell in PDMS by surface patterning of perfluorinated ion-exchange resin

Yong Ak Song, Candy Batista, Rahul Sarpeshkar, Jongyoon Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this paper we demonstrate a simple and rapid fabrication method for a microfluidic polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell using polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), which has become the de facto standard material in BioMEMS. Instead of integrating a Nafion sheet film between two layers of a PDMS de vice in a traditional "sandwich format," we pattern a perfluorinated ion-exchange resin such as a Nafion resin on a glass substrate using a reversibly bonded PDMS microchannel to generate an ion-selective membrane between the fuel-cell electrodes. After this patterning step, the assembly of the microfluidic fuel cell is accomplished by simple oxygen plasma bonding between the PDMS chip and the glass substrate. In an example implementation, the planar PEM microfluidic fuel cell generates an open circuit voltage of 600-800 mV and delivers a maximum current output of nearly 4 μA. To enhance the power output of the fuel cell we utilize self-assembled colloidal arrays as a support matrix for the Nafion resin. Such arrays allow us to increase the thickness of the ion-selective membrane to 20 μm and increase the current output by 166%. Our novel fabrication method enables rapid prototyping of microfluidic fuel cells to study various ion-exchange resins for the polymer electrolyte membrane. Our work will facilitate the development of miniature, implantable, on-chip power sources for biomedical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)674-677
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Volume183
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2008

Keywords

  • Microflow patterning
  • Microfluidic fuel cell
  • PDMS
  • Planar design
  • Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM)
  • Proton-exchange membrane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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