Design, fabrication and implementation of a vibration based mems energy scavenger for wireless microsystems

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2008
Sarı, İbrahim
This thesis study presents the design, simulation, micro fabrication, and testing steps of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) based electromagnetic micro power generators. These generators are capable of generating power using already available environmental vibrations, by implementing the electromagnetic induction technique. There are mainly two objectives of the study: (i) to increase the bandwidth of the traditional micro generators and (ii) to improve their efficiency at low frequency environmental vibrations of 1-100 Hz where most vibrations exist. Four main types of generators have been proposed within the scope of this thesis study. The first type of generator is mainly composed of 20 parylene cantilevers on which coils are fabricated, where the cantilevers are capable of resonating with external vibrations with respect to a stationary magnet. This generator has dimensions of 9.5×8×6 mm3, and it has been shown that 0.67 mV of voltage and 56 pW of power output can be obtained from a single cantilever of this design at a vibration frequency of 3.45 kHz. The second type generator aims to increase the bandwidth of the traditional designs by implementing cantilevers with varying length. This generator is sized 14×12.5×8 mm3, and the mechanical design and energy generation concept is similar to the first design. The test results show that by using 40 cantilevers with a length increment of 3 ́m, the overall bandwidth of the generator can be increased to 1000 Hz. It has also been shown that 9 mV of constant voltage and 1.7 nW of constant power output can be obtained from the overall device in a vibration frequency range of 3.5 to 4.5 kHz. The third type is a standard large mass coil type generator that has been widely used in the literature. In this case, the generator is composed of a stationary base with a coil and a magnet-diaphragm assembly capable of resonating with vibrations. The fabricated device has dimensions of 8.5×7×2.5 mm3, and it has been considered in this study for benchmarking purposes only. The test results show that 0.3 mV of voltage and 40 pW of power output can be obtained from the fabricated design at a vibration frequency of 113 Hz. The final design aims to mechanically up-convert low frequency environmental vibrations of 1-100 Hz to a much higher frequency range of 2-3 kHz. This type of generator has been implemented for the first time in the literature. The generator is composed of two parts; a diaphragm-magnet assembly on the top, and 20 cantilevers that have coils connected in series at the base. The diaphragm oscillates by low frequency environmental vibrations, and catches and releases the cantilevers from the tip points where magnetic nickel (Ni) areas are deposited. The released cantilevers then start decaying out oscillations that is at their damped natural frequency of 2-3 kHz. It has been shown with tests that frequency up-conversion is realized in micro scale. The fabricated device has dimensions of 8.5×7×2.5 mm3, and a maximum voltage and power output of 0.57 mV and 0.25 nW can be obtained, respectively, from a single cantilever of the fabricated prototype at a vibration frequency of 113 Hz.

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Citation Formats
İ. Sarı, “Design, fabrication and implementation of a vibration based mems energy scavenger for wireless microsystems,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2008.