Microsystem Technologies

, Volume 24, Issue 12, pp 5027–5036 | Cite as

MEMS-based multi-modal vibration energy harvesters for ultra-low power autonomous remote and distributed sensing

  • J. IannacciEmail author
  • E. Serra
  • G. Sordo
  • M. Bonaldi
  • A. Borrielli
  • U. Schmid
  • A. Bittner
  • M. Schneider
  • T. Kuenzig
  • G. Schrag
  • G. Pandraud
  • P. M. Sarro
Technical Paper


In this contribution, we discuss the implementation of a novel microelectromechanical-systems (MEMS)-based energy harvester (EH) concept within the technology platform available at the ISAS Institute (TU Vienna, Austria). The device, already presented by the authors, exploits the piezoelectric effect to convert environmental vibrations energy into electricity, and presents multiple resonant modes in the frequency range of interest (i.e. below 10 kHz). The experimental characterisation of a sputter deposited aluminium nitride piezoelectric thin-film layer is reported, leading to the extraction of material properties parameters. Such values are then incorporated in the finite element method model of the EH, implemented in Ansys Workbench™, in order to get reasonable estimates of the converted power levels achievable by the proposed device solution. Multiphysics simulations indicate that extracted power values in the range of several µW can be addressed by the EH-MEMS concept when subjected to mechanical vibrations up to 10 kHz, operating in closed-loop conditions (i.e. piezoelectric generator connected to a 100 kΩ resistive load). This represents an encouraging result, opening up the floor to exploitations of the proposed EH-MEMS device in the field of wireless sensor networks and zero-power sensing nodes.



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Materials and Microsystems (CMM)Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK)TrentoItaly
  2. 2.Gruppo Collegato di TrentoIstituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN)TrentoItaly
  3. 3.DIMES Technology CenterDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Nanoscience-Trento-FBK DivisionInstitute of Materials for Electronics and MagnetismTrentoItaly
  5. 5.Institute of Sensor and Actuator Systems (ISAS)Vienna University of Technology (TUW)ViennaAustria
  6. 6.Institute for Physics of Electrotechnology (TEP)Munich University of Technology (TUM)MunichGermany

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