Nanoelectronics Micro energy harvesting devices (collaboration with Prof. Sang-Gook Kim, MIT)
It is not practicable in many applications to have external, bulky batteries providing power to sensing/actuating microdevices due to their relatively large sizes. Examples for which size reduction is vital are implantable medical appliances. Micro energy harvesting devices provide miniaturized solutions that can be seamlessly integrated.
For this matter, INL is developing a fully integrated scavenging system composed of (i) broadband piezoelectric power generator able to convert ambient vibrations in the Hz-kHz range into electrical energy, (ii) full diode bridge for rectifying the resulting signals so that charge can be effectively stored in (iii) a small chip footprint 10-nF range supercapacitor, which is then connected to (iv) an optimal load resistor for powering sensors and/or actuators, related control electronics and wireless transceivers for data transmission. The system is targeted at providing power ratings in the 0.1-1 µW range and all processing steps are realized at temperatures below 450ºC, as to make the fabrication as CMOS compatible as possible.
Other projects of the workgroup
- Micromechanical actuators and oscillators
- MEMS structures for advanced characterization techniques
- Silicon based microfluidic platforms
- Flexible substrate applications
- Spintronic MEMS devices (collaboration with INL Spintronics Group)
- High-throughput, wafer-scale testing of MEMS materials and devices