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A fundamental problem that miniaturized systems, such as biomedical implants, face is limited space for storing energy, which translates to short operational life. Harvesting energy from the surrounding environment, which is virtually a boundless source at these scales, can overcome this restriction, if losses in the system are sufficiently low. To that end, the 2-μm bi-complementary metal-oxide semiconductor switched-inductor piezoelectric harvester prototype evaluated and presented in this paper eliminates the restrictions associated with a rectifier to produce and channel 30 μW from a periodic 72- μW piezoelectric source into a battery directly. In doing so, the circuit also increases the system's electrical damping force to draw more power and energy from the transducer, effectively increasing its mechanical-electrical efficiency by up to 78%. The system also harnesses up to 659 nJ from nonperiodic mechanical vibrations, which are more prevalent in the environment, with 6.1±1.5% to 8.8±6.9% of end-to-end mechanical-electrical efficiency.
Biomedical Circuits and Systems, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:4 , Issue: 6 )
Date of Publication: Dec. 2010