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

J. Iannacci*, E. Serra, G. Sordo, M. Bonaldi, A. Borrielli, U. Schmid, M. Schneider, G. Pandraud, P. M. Sarro, More Authors

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
122 Downloads (Pure)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5027-5036
Number of pages10
JournalMicrosystem Technologies
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


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