Electrothermal Annealing of Catalytic Platinum Microwire Electrodes: Towards Membrane-Free pH 7 Glucose Micro-Fuel Cells

James Weber, Andrew J. Wain, Gary A. Attard, Frank Marken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)
134 Downloads (Pure)


Surface activation and cleaning of platinum micro-wires of 25 micron diameter has been achieved by a short one-second electrothermal annealing treatment in air at 0.3 A (to orange glow). Voltammetric data suggest a decrease in the electrochemically active surface area with annealing time and a change in surface structure towards the Pt(100) crystalline face. The impact of electrothermal annealing on the electrocatalytic activity towards (i) oxygen reduction and (ii) glucose oxidation in pH 7 phosphate buffered aqueous solutions is investigated. In contrast to as-received platinum, annealed platinum produces an electrocatalytic response towards glucose oxidation with increasing glucose concentration. A short one-second anneal step is just as effective in enhancing catalysis as prolonged electrochemical cleaning in sulphuric acid. Finally, by combining a non-annealed and an annealed microwire electrode, a very simple membrane-free micro-fuel cell system is devised operating in phosphate buffer at pH 7 with linearly increasing power output reaching 2.2 nW cm−2 for high glucose levels of 0.5 M.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-44
Number of pages7
Issue number1
Early online date14 Sep 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017



  • electrothermal annealing
  • glucose oxidation
  • microwire electrode
  • sensor
  • voltammetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Electrochemistry

Cite this