Piezoelectric MEMS for energy harvesting

Sang Gook Kim, Shashank Priya, Isaku Kanno

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

262 Scopus citations


Piezoelectric microelectromechanical systems technology for harvesting small magnitudes of energy from ambient vibrations. This technology promises to eliminate the need for replacing chemical batteries or complex wiring in microsensors/microsystems, moving us closer toward battery-less autonomous sensors systems and networks. To achieve this goal, a fully assembled energy harvester the size of a US quarter dollar coin (diameter = 24.26 mm, thickness = 1.75 mm) should be able to robustly generate about 100 ? W of continuous power from ambient vibrations. In addition, the cost of the device should be suffi ciently low for mass scale deployment. At the present time, most of the devices reported in the literature do not meet these requirements. This article reviews the current state of the art with respect to the key challenges such as high power density and wide bandwidth of operation. This article also describes improvements in piezoelectric materials and resonator structure design, which are believed to be the solutions to these challenges. Epitaxial growth and grain texturing of piezoelectric materials is being developed to achieve much higher energy conversion effi ciency. For embedded medical systems, lead-free piezoelectric thin fi lms are being developed, and MEMS processes for these new classes of materials are being investigated. Nonlinear resonating beams for wide bandwidth resonance are also being developed to enable more robust operation of energy harvesters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1039-1050
Number of pages12
JournalMRS Bulletin
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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