Hierarchical Integration of Multi-scale Elements for Micro-Fuel Cells
Recently, Sekol et al. demonstrated the fabrication of an integrated flow field, gas diffusion layer, and catalyst in one continuous process. Exploiting the unique property of bulk metallic glass (BMG) that results in viscous softening when heated above the glass transition temperature, thermoplastic forming methods were used to essentially mold macroscale flow field channels in in one surface of a Zirconium-BMG (Zr-BMG) substrate, and subsequently mold a porous gas diffusion layer and high surface area nanowire Platinum-BMG (Pt-BMG) catalyst layer in the opposite surface. In this manner, a single component is now able to replace three components, and further, can be produced in a scalable stamping approach. The use of BMGs has further advantages including high electrical conductivity, with the ability to make mechanically robust, complex 3D structures.
Reviewed by Jeff Morse, Ph.D., National Nanomanufacturing Network
- Sekol RC, Kumar G, Carmo M, Gittleson F, Hardesty-Dyck N, Mukherjee S, Schroers J, Taylor AD. 2012. Bulk metallic glass micro fuel cell. Small 9(12). http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/smll.201201647
Figures reprinted with permission pending from Sekol RC, Kumar G, Carmo M, Gittleson F, Hardesty-Dyck N, Mukherjee S, Schroers J, Taylor AD. 2012. Bulk metallic glass micro fuel cell. Small 9(12). http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/smll.201201647