MEMS based vibrational energy harvesting devices have been a highly researched topic over the past decade. The application targeted in this paper focuses on a leadless pacemaker that will be implanted in the right ventricle of the heart. A leadless pacemaker requires the same functionality as a normal pacemaker, but with significantly reduced volume. The reduced volume limits the space for a battery; therefore an energy harvesting device is required. This paper compares varying the dimensions of a linear MEMS based piezoelectric energy harvester that can harvest energy from the mechanical vibrations of the heart due to shock induced vibration. Typical MEMS linear energy harvesting devices operate at high frequency (<50 Hz) with low acceleration (< 1g). The force generated from the heart acts as a series of impulses as opposed to traditional sinusoidal vibration force with high acceleration (1-4 g). Therefore the design of a MEMS harvester that is based on shock-induced vibration is necessary. PiezoMEMS energy harvesting devices consisting of a silicon substrate and mass with aluminium nitride piezoelectric material were developed and characterized using acceleration forces that mimic the heartbeat. Peak powers of up to 25μW were obtained at 1 g acceleration with a powder density of approximately 1.5 mW cm-3.
Nathan Jackson, Oskar Olszewski, Cian O'Murchu, and Alan Mathewson, "Powering a leadless pacemaker using a PiezoMEMS energy harvester," Proc. SPIE 10246, Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS VIII, 102460V (Presented at SPIE Microtechnologies: May 10, 2017; Published: 2 June 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2264437.
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