Membrane-less and mediator-free enzymatic biofuel cell using carbon nanotube/porous silicon electrodes

Shiunchin C. Wang, Fan Yang, Manuel Silva, Anna Zarow, Yubing Wang, Zafar Iqbal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Membrane-less and mediator-free direct electron transfer enzymatic biofuel cells (BFCs) with bioelectrodes comprised of single wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) deposited by two methods on porous silicon (pSi) substrates, are reported. In one method the SWNTs were grown by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and then functionalized with carboxylic groups, and in the second method, pre-synthesized carboxylated SWNTs (c-SWNTs) were electrophoretically deposited on gold-coated pSi. Anodic glucose oxidase (GOx) and cathodic laccase (Lac) were immobilized on the pSi/SWNT substrates to form BFCs in pH 7 phosphate buffer solution. A peak power density of 1.38 μW/cm2 (with a lifetime of 24 h) down to 0.3 μW/cm2 was obtained for a BFC comprised of c-SWNT/enzyme electrodes in 4 mM glucose solution as fuel, corresponding to normal blood sugar concentration, and air as oxidant. BFCs of this relatively simple architecture have the potential for further optimization of power output and lifetime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-37
Number of pages4
JournalElectrochemistry Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrochemistry


  • Biofuel cell
  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Glucose oxidase
  • Laccase
  • Membrane-less and mediator-free
  • Porous silicon


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