In the present work, a chip embedded thin film current collector for vanadium fueled microfluidic fuel cells is proposed. Embedded current collectors are expected to increase the number of contact points with the porous electrodes and thereby reduce the overall contact resistance and ohmic losses of the cell. The micromachining based thin film process is compatible with the overall cell fabrication scheme, which is based on soft lithography, and does not require a substantial modification of the original cell design. The flow-through microfluidic fuel cell architecture with porous carbon paper electrodes is used as a proof-of-concept in this study. Our preliminary study shows that the peak power density of the cell with the current collector is increased by 79% at 300 μL min−1 compared to an otherwise identical cell without current collector, indicating that the contact resistance is significantly reduced. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy analysis is carried out to estimate the overall cell ohmic resistance and confirms a 32% reduction using the current collectors.

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