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Proceedings Paper

Modeling and analysis of a micromachined piezoelectric energy harvester stimulated by ambient random vibrations
Author(s): Ali B. Alamin Dow; Hasan A. Al-Rubaye; David Koo; Michael Schneider; Achim Bittner; Ulrich Schmid; Nazir P. Kherani
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Paper Abstract

Piezoelectric energy microgenerators are devices that continuously generate electricity when they are subjected to varying mechanical strain due to vibrations. They can generate electrical power up to 100 μW which can be used to drive various sensing and actuating MEMS devices. Today, piezoelectric energy harvesters are considered autonomous and reliable energy sources to actuate low power microdevices such as wireless sensor networks, indoor-outdoor monitoring, facility management and biomedical applications. The advantages of piezoelectric energy harvesters including high power density, moderate output power and CMOS compatible fabrication in particular with aluminum nitride (AlN) have fuelled and motivated researchers to develop MEMS based energy harvesters. Recently, the use of AlN as a piezoelectric material has increased fabrication compatibility, enabling the realization of smart integrated systems on chip which include sensors, actuators and energy storage. Piezoelectric MEMS energy microgenerator is used to capture and transform the available ambient mechanical vibrations into usable electric energy via resonant coupling in the thin film piezoelectric material. Analysis and modeling of piezoelectric energy generators are very important aspects for improved performance. Aluminum nitride as the piezoelectric material is sandwiched between two electrodes. The device design includes a silicon cantilever on which the AlN film is deposited and which features a seismic mass at the end of the cantilever. Beam theory and lumped modeling with circuit elements are applied for modeling and analysis of the device operation at various acceleration values. The model shows good agreement with the experimental findings, thus giving confidence in the model.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 May 2011
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 8066, Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS V, 806612 (5 May 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.885861
Show Author Affiliations
Ali B. Alamin Dow, Univ. of Toronto (Canada)
Hasan A. Al-Rubaye, Univ. of Toronto (Canada)
David Koo, Univ. of Toronto (Canada)
Michael Schneider, Vienna Univ. of Technology (Austria)
Achim Bittner, Vienna Univ. of Technology (Austria)
Ulrich Schmid, Vienna Univ. of Technology (Austria)
Nazir P. Kherani, Univ. of Toronto (Canada)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8066:
Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS V
Ulrich Schmid; José Luis Sánchez-Rojas; Monika Leester-Schaedel, Editor(s)

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