Key Research Areas

Micro Energy Systems

Energy autarkic micro systems and smart sensor nodes will lead to entirely new capabilities and applications in the future.

Energy supply and storage is not an added, discrete feature but an integral part of system functionality. Its development requires alliances of developers, manufacturers and end user groups. Micro batteries, portable fuel cells and energy harvesting are key words for this evolution.

Fraunhofer IZM addresses these topics together with partners from industry and academia in a number of research projects. Here we use silicon wafer level 3D technology and electronics packaging technologies to integrate and miniaturize power supplies for future electronic products.

The department runs a well-equipped battery test laboratory and offers testing and consulting services.

Integrated Micro Batteries

© Fraunhofer IZM
SEM of coplanar battery. Graphite and lithium cobalt oxide electrodes on both sides of the separator
© Fraunhofer IZM
Prototypes of silicon integrated micro batteries
  • Development of electrode pastes and electrode fabrication technology suited for integrated lithium batteries
  • Anode and cathode material selection, investigation of nano tubes
  • Investigations on diffusion barrier and encapsulation materials for Lithium batteries. Increase of life time
  • Electrochemical simulation of rechargeable lithium batteries
  • Silicon patterning and 3D technology development for high power micro batteries

Micro Fuel Cells

© Fraunhofer IZM
Planar micro fuel cells
© Fraunhofer IZM
Micro fuel cell stacks, power 2 – 20 Watts
  • Electrochemical corrosion prevention – life time increase for low cost micro fuel cells
  • Design optimization of micro fuel cells based on simulation, area resolved measurement and rapid prototyping
  • Materials characterization for fuel cells (catalysts, membranes, gas diffusion layers, current collectors, micro channel plates)
  • Control algorithms for micro fuel cells

Hydrogen Generators for Micro Fuel Cells

© Fraunhofer IZM
Hydrogen evolving cells 2x180 Ah
Hydrogen evolving
© Fraunhofer IZM
Hydrogen evolving cells 6x70 Ah
  • Investigation of anode materials (grain size, grain shape, alloys and additives)
  • Investigation of electrolytes for galvanic hydrogen generators
  • Cell design and development
  • KOH stable sealing methods
  • Long term stability of hydrogen generators
  • Control algorithms for combined hydrogen generator and fuel cell

Energy Harvesting

Ski helmet
© Fraunhofer IZM
Ski helmet with 3D solar module, 1.6 W power
  • Materials research for capacitive Harvesters with flexible electrode and high-k dielectric
  • Design optimization of capacitive harvester
  • System optimization for capacitive harvester for several use cases
  • 3D Si-solar modules for portable application

Services relating to Micro Energy Systems


Micro Battery

Customized secondary micro batteries / Materials development and testing for lithium batteries / Battery test service