Monatshefte für Chemie - Chemical Monthly

, Volume 140, Issue 9, pp 975–983 | Cite as

Micro-solid oxide fuel cells: status, challenges, and chances

  • Anna EvansEmail author
  • Anja Bieberle-Hütter
  • Henning Galinski
  • Jennifer L. M. Rupp
  • Thomas Ryll
  • Barbara Scherrer
  • René Tölke
  • Ludwig J. Gauckler
Review Paper



Micro-solid oxide fuel cells (micro-SOFC) are predicted to be of high energy density and are potential power sources for portable electronic devices. A micro-SOFC system consists of a fuel cell comprising a positive electrode-electrolyte-negative electrode (i.e. PEN) element, a gas-processing unit, and a thermal system where processing is based on micro-electro-mechanical-systems fabrication techniques. A possible system approach is presented. The critical properties of the thin film materials used in the PEN membrane are discussed, and the unsolved subtasks related to micro-SOFC membrane development are pointed out. Such a micro-SOFC system approach seems feasible and offers a promising alternative to state-of-the-art batteries in portable electronics.

Graphical abstract

Graphical Abstract text


Micro-solid oxide fuel cell Thin film deposition MEMS Microfabrication Gas processing Thermal system 



Financial support from the following Swiss institutions for the ONEBAT and NANCER projects is gratefully acknowledged: Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI), Competence Centre for Energy and Mobility (CCEM), Competence Centre for Materials Science and Technology (CCMX), Bundesamt für Energie (BfE), and Swiss Electric Research (SER).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Evans
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anja Bieberle-Hütter
    • 2
  • Henning Galinski
    • 3
  • Jennifer L. M. Rupp
    • 4
  • Thomas Ryll
    • 5
  • Barbara Scherrer
    • 1
  • René Tölke
    • 5
  • Ludwig J. Gauckler
    • 6
  1. 1.Nonmetallic Inorganic MaterialsETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Nonmetallic Inorganic MaterialsETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  3. 3.Nonmetallic Inorganic MaterialsETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  4. 4.Nonmetallic Inorganic MaterialsETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  5. 5.Nonmetallic Inorganic MaterialsETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  6. 6.Nonmetallic Inorganic MaterialsETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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