Skip to Main Content
The next generation of implantable high-power neuroprosthetic devices such as visual prostheses and brain computer interfaces are going to be powered by transcutaneous inductive power links formed between a pair of printed spiral coils (PSC) that are batch-fabricated using micromachining technology. Optimizing the power efficiency of the wireless link is imperative to minimize the size of the external energy source, heating dissipation in the tissue, and interference with other devices. Previous design methodologies for coils made of 1-D filaments are not comprehensive and accurate enough to consider all geometrical aspects of PSCs with planar 3-D conductors as well as design constraints imposed by implantable device application and fabrication technology. We have outlined the theoretical foundation of optimal power transmission efficiency in an inductive link, and combined it with semi-empirical models to predict parasitic components in PSCs. We have used this foundation to devise an iterative PSC design methodology that starts with a set of realistic design constraints and ends with the optimal PSC pair geometries. We have executed this procedure on two design examples at 1 and 5 MHz achieving power transmission efficiencies of 41.2% and 85.8%, respectively, at 10-mm spacing. All results are verified with simulations using a commercial field solver (HFSS) as well as measurements using PSCs fabricated on printed circuit boards.