A Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Using Cermet Electrodes in Low Temperature Cofire Ceramics


Low temperature cofired ceramics (LTCC) is becoming more integrated as ceramic microsystems. Microsystems allow the integration of numerous components, including embedded passives, high-density interconnects, high performance thermal management systems, sensors and actuators, mechanical, fluidic, and optical components. The development of these systems have led to enhanced processing capabilities including enhanced properties by controlled sintering or the development of cavities and microelectromechanical structures using fugitive inserts which are removed during firing. In this work, a cermet electrode structure is developed for the anode structure using a porous borosilicate structure as the mechanical base for the anode structure coated with a thin silver film from the reduction of Ag resinate film to provide a conductive base. The electrode catalysts were added by the reduction of a mixture of platinum/ruthenium resinate. Although this work only evaluated the performance of the anode electrode, a complete fuel cell is envisioned that would be cofired into the LTCC, consisting of the required cavities for fuel storage, channels, and wick structures for fuel deliver, a porous Ag structure for the electrodes, separated by a cavity with nanoporous surfaces that will allow the PEM organics to be added after firing and polymerized in situ. This work only considers the development of the porous cermet films for the Ag-based anode structure.

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