Development of a miniature silicon wafer fuel cell using L-ascorbic acid as fuel

Jian Wu, Zhi Yong Xiao, Yi Bin Ying, Philip Ching Ho Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In the current studies a miniature silicon wafer fuel cell (FC) using L-ascorbic acid as fuel was developed. The cell employs L-ascorbic acid and air as reactants and a thin polymer electrolyte as a separator. Inductively coupled plasma (ICP) silicon etching was employed to fabricate high aspect-ratio columns on the silicon substrate to increase the surface area. A thin platinum layer deposited directly on the silicon surface by the sputtering was used as the catalyst layer for L-ascorbic acid electro-oxidation. Cyclic voltammetry shows that the oxidation of L-ascorbic acid on the sputtered platinum layer is irreversible and that the onset potentials for the oxidation of L-ascorbic acid are from 0.27 V to 0.35 V versus an Ag/AgCl reference electrode. It is found that at the room temperature, with 1 mol/L L-ascorbic acid/PBS (phosphate buffered solution) solution pumped to the anode at 1 ml/min flow rate and air spontaneously diffusing to the cathode as the oxidant, the maximum output power density of the cell was 1.95 mW/cm2at a current density of 10 mA/cm2.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)955-960
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Zhejiang University: Science A
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Fuel cell (FC)
  • L-ascorbic acid
  • Silicon wafer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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