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Dynamic Characterization and Mechanical Simulation of Cantilevers for Electromechanical Vibration Energy Harvesting

N. Alcheick[1], H. Nesser[1], H. Debeda[1], C. Ayela[1], I. Dufour [1]
[1]Univ. Bordeaux, IMS Lab, Pessac, France

Energy harvesting from ambient vibrations has become an interesting topic for powering wireless sensor networks. Resonant microdevices based on MEMS have become of central importance at low frequency. The power produced at resonance is at least one order of magnitude larger than off frequency power since the largest strain is obtained at resonance. In order to obtain large strain for efficient electromechanical energy conversion, polymer materials have been considered for vibrating devices. Two preliminary resonant microcantilevers made of viscoelastic polymer have been simulated with COMSOL Multiphysics® to deduce both the resonant frequency and quality factor. We have also investigated how the resonant frequency and the axial strain vary with the microcantilever thickness, to optimize the behavior of such MEMS resonators as electromechanical energy harvesters.