Nickel MEMS Energy Harvesters for the Self-Powering of Vehicular Sensing Systems

Abstract

MEMS energy harvesters are attracting researchers’ attentions from both academia and industries for the self-powering of sensing systems in vehicular applications. The possibility to convert the power contained in the mechanical vibrations into electrical power offers the possibility to replace traditional wired sensors with wireless devices, to simplify the on-board architecture, increase maintainability and reduce operative and supplying costs. This work describes the design and fabrication of vibrating harvesters using electroplated nickel as the structural material; a modular approach is proposed for the mask definition of compact self-powered sensing systems. The capacitive transduction principle is adopted for ease of fabrication and efficient conversion. In addition, some strategies to improve the dynamic performances in terms of resonance frequency tuning and bandwidth amplification are also presented.

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