Five topologies of cantilever-based MEMS piezoelectric vibration energy harvesters: a numerical and experimental comparison


In the realm of MEMS piezoelectric vibration energy harvesters, cantilever-based designs are by far the most popular. For cantilever-based vibration energy harvesters, the active piezoelectric area near the clamped end is able to accumulate maximum strain-generated-electrical-charge, while the free end is used to house a proof mass to improve the power output without compromising the effective area of the piezoelectric generator since it experiences minimal strain anyway. However, despite while other contending designs do exist, this paper explores five selected micro-cantilever (MC) topologies, namely: a plain MC, a tapered MC, a lined MC, a holed MC and a coupled MC, in order to assess their relative performance as an energy harvester. Although a classical straight and plain MC offers the largest active piezoelectric area, alternative MC designs can potentially offer larger deflection and thus mechanical strain distribution for a given mechanical loading. Numerical simulation and experimental comparison of these 5 MCs (0.5 µm AlN on 10 µm Si) with the same practical dimensions of 500 µm and 2000 µm, suggest a cantilever with a coupled subsidiary cantilever yield the best power performance, closely followed by the classical plain cantilever topology.

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Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2015. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Publication ISSN: 0946-7076
Last Modified: 20 May 2024 07:28
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2019 13:19
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Related URLs: https://link.sp ... 0542-015-2599-z (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2016-12-01
Published Online Date: 2015-07-03
Authors: Jia, Yu (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-9640-1666)
Seshia, Ashwin A



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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