The increasing demand for high energy density power sources driven by advancements in portable electronics and MEMS devices has generated significant interest in development of micro fuel cells. One of the major challenges in development of hydrogen micro fuel cells is the fabrication and integration of auxiliary systems for generation and delivery of fuel to the membrane electrode assembly (MEA). In this paper, we report the development of a millimeter-scale (3×3×1 mm3) micro fuel cell with on-board fuel and control system. Hydrogen is generated in the device through reaction between water and a metal hydride. The device incorporates a new control mechanism for hydrogen generation that occupies only 50 nL volume (less than 0.5% of the total device volume). More importantly, the control mechanism is self-regulating and does not consume any power, enabling the micro fuel cell to operate passively, similar to a battery.

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