1 Department of Micro- and Nanotechnology, Technical University of Denmark2 Experimental Surface and Nanomaterials Physics, Department of Physics, Technical University of Denmark
The purpose of this project is to design and fabricate piezoelectric energy harvesters based on integration of Pb(ZrxTi1-x)O3 (PZT) thick film technology and silicon microtechnology. The fabrication processes are carried out in close collaboration with Meggitt Sensing Systems (MSS) who has the unique expertise to screen print piezoelectric thick film layers, thus all screen printing steps are done by MSS while the silicon micromachining is carried out at Danchip facility at DTU. The presented energy harvesters are all based on using piezoelectric thick film operating in the 31-mode to generate power when strained. Three archetypes of the numerous fabricated energy harvesters will be presented in detail, they represent three major milestones in this project. The first energy harvester archetype has an unimorph cantilever beam, which consists of a 20 µm silicon layer and 10-30 µm screen printed PZT layer, anchored on a silicon frame at one end and attached to a silicon proof mass at the other. Electrodes will cover both side of the PZT layer, so the harvested energy can be collected electrically. The second archetype has a bimorph cantilever beam, which consists of two 15-35 µm PZT layers, anchored on a silicon frame at the one end and attached to a silicon proof mass at the other. Electrodes are deposited below, between and above the two PZT layers. The root mean square (RMS) power output measured on this type of harvesters is as high as 37.1µW at 1 g. The third archetype is similar to the first one, the screen printed PZT layer is replaced by a lead free piezoelectric material, (KxNa1-x)NbO3 (KNN). Some of the major challenges encountered during the development processes are bad adhesion, fragile structures and short circuiting through the PZT layer. All which have being fully or partially solved in this project. The final energy harvesters are designed to be used in an energy harvester powered wireless sensing system.