Microsystem Technologies

, Volume 22, Issue 7, pp 1865–1881 | Cite as

The MEMS four-leaf clover wideband vibration energy harvesting device: design concept and experimental verification

Technical Paper


In this contribution, we discuss a novel design concept of a high-performance wideband MEMS vibration energy harvester (EH), named four-leaf clover (FLC EH-MEMS) after its circular shape featuring four petal-like mass-spring systems. The goal is to enable multiple resonant modes in the typical range of vibrations scattered in the environment (i.e., up to 4–5 kHz). This boosts the FLC conversion capability from mechanical into electrical energy exploiting the piezoelectric effect, thus overcoming the common limitation of cantilever-like EHs that exhibit good performance only in a very narrow band of vibration (i.e., fundamental resonant mode). The FLC concept is first discussed framing it into the current state of the art, highlighting its strengths. Then, after a brief theoretical introduction on mechanical resonators, the FLC EH-MEMS device is described in details. Finite Element Method (FEM) analyses are conducted in the ANSYS Workbench™ framework. A suitable 3D model is built up to perform modal simulations, aimed to identify mechanical resonant modes, as well as harmonic analyses, devoted to study the mechanical and electrical behaviour of the FLC EH-MEMS (coupled field analysis). The work reports on experimental activities, as well. Physical samples of the FLC EH-MEMS device are fabricated within a technology platform that combines surface and bulk micromachining. Thereafter, specimens are tested both with a laser doppler vibrometer measurement setup as well as with a dedicated shaker-based setup, and the results are compared with simulations for validation purposes. In conclusion, the FLC EH-MEMS exhibits a large number of resonant modes scattered in the tested range of vibrations (up to 15 kHz) already starting from frequencies as low as 200 Hz, and expected levels of converted power better than 10 µW.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MicroSystems Technology (MST) Research UnitCenter for Materials and Microsystems (CMM), Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK)PovoItaly
  2. 2.Institute of Sensor and Actuator Systems (ISAS)Vienna University of Technology (VUT)ViennaAustria

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