The general objective of the project consists of design and fabrication using micro- nanotechnologies of a hybrid device, liquid miniaturized fuel cell, for applications in key domain as portable electronics, implantable medical devices, or military industry as a response for necessity to Increase of energy security and promoting of clean energy technologies, environment protection measurements and reduction of greenhouse effects.
All these objectives have a multidisciplinary character and their achievement imply both a fundamental (basic) research to understand the new effects/ phenomena which appear as a result of miniaturisation and are important for the assembly’s features and an applicative research, for technological development, to obtain an experimental model – a functional test device.
The specific objectives of the project:
The specific objectives result from the proposed research plan and include:
1. Development of new types of nanostructured proton exchange membranes to reduce the methanol crossover rate through the electrolyte to the levels significantly lower than that of currently available materials (e.g. Nafion); study of corresponding proton conduction mechanism.
2. Fabrication of new electrocatalyst materials and design of new geometries based on Si nanotechnology, focused on: (i) enhance the low temperature methanol / ethanol electro-oxidation activity of the anode; (ii) enhance of oxygen reduction activity of cathode and increase its selectivity.
3. Design and fabrication of transport system for membrane fuel supply incorporated on Si substrate and an auxiliary microfluidic system for water/fuel management on PDMS.
4. study of features / properties of proposed elements and the interface phenomena and select the most advantageous scheme to realise a new system, with improved technical performances (the single cell operating at 0.5V, 0.2A/cm2, and 30-60 ºC, in atmospheric pressure air) than now existing fuel cells and with low-cost of fabrication.