Case 09570

Thin Film Single Chamber Micro-Fuel Cell

Keywords:

Micro-fuel cells, solid oxide fuel cells, fuel and oxidizer chambers

Applications:

Microelectronics, MEMS structures, thin film batteries, micro-fuel cells

Problem:

Reduces manufacturing complexity by eliminating sealing and gas separation issues at high operating temperatures

Technology:

This invention proposes two designs for microfabricated thin-film, single chamber solid oxide fuel cells. The thin-film single chamber fuel cell eliminating the need for sealing between the fuel and oxidizer chambers and simplifies the microfabrication process and can be integrated into existing VSLI processing. In both cases, the electrolyte is a ceramic thin film, either yttria stabilized zirconia or a ceria solid solution. The cathode and anode can be noble metals, cermets or mixed ionic-electronic conductors. One of the designs uses a pair of deposited interdigitated electrodes on the same side of a thin-film electrolyte while the other places the electrodes on the opposite sides of an electrolyte.

Advantages:
  • Portable compact size
  • Reduced operating temperatures
  • Uses traditional alcohol or petroleum-based fuels rather than purified hydrogen

Inventors:
  • Professor Harry Tuller (Department of Material Science and Engineering, MIT)
  • Joshua Hertz (Department of Material Science and Engineering, MIT)

Intellectual Property:

US Patent 7871734 issued on January 18, 2011

Publications:

N/A

Last revised:December 16, 2011

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