Nanotube MEMS Miniature Fuel Cell Power Source
Agency / Branch:
DOD / MDA
OmniSite BioDiagnostics, Inc. (OmniSite), with Dr. Richard Lagow of the University of Texas at Austin, plan to develop a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell based on microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology. Micromachining of silicon willbe used to prepare microelectrode array structures that utilize improved catalytic properties of metallic nanoparticles grown directly on nitrogen-enriched multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNT). In the Phase I program, OmniSite will fabricate severaloperational MEMS-PEM breadboard devices. Additionally, new catalyst phases will be developed that contain very small dimension metallic particles with high surface to volume ratios, uniformly dispersed in a multi-walled nanotube (MWNT) matrix. The MEMSplatform offers a number of significant advantages over traditional PEM fuel cells including the capacity to greatly reduce the manufacturing cost and weight through batch fabrication, and the capacity to scale the size of the cells for uses ranging fromon-chip power sources for MEMS applications to very large scale wafer bonded stacks as stationary power sources. The OmniSite team has significant prior experience with the fabrication of structures required for a nanotube MEMS fuel cell; this experiencewill be leveraged to produce an operational fuel cell by the end of the Phase I program.Fuel cells are attractive alternatives to traditional energy sources, but are not yet routinely utilized due to cost. The device developed in this program promises tosolve many of these cost issues. Additional advantages include zero environmentally harmful emissions, noise free operation, vastly increased mean time between failure, and operating costs that are 25% to 40% lower than conventional energy sources.Accordingly, the commercial applications of this new technology are virtually limitless.
Small Business Information at Submission:
CTO, VP Development
OMNISITE BIODIAGNOSTICS, INC.
101 West Sixth Street, Suite 200 Austin, TX 78701
Number of Employees: