Energy Harvesting Device for Providing Power to Micro Sensors


 The rapid growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) has created a need for microsensors which transmit information from objects to computers.  For example, “smart” running shoes could feature sensors which relay performance feedback to an athlete while she is exercising.  The challenge in designing such sensors is that they require power to run.  The use of batteries is not feasible due to a sensor’s small scale and the problems inherent in replacing them when they are depleted. 


In response to this need, a new device has been invented which scavenges energy from a constant source: thermal energy present in the air. It uses a 2D material as a diaphragm which exhibits constant mechanical buckling, or vibration, generated by the motion of molecules in the air.  Theoretical calculations indicate that this device, as a 20 nanometer square diaphragm, can provide 10 picowatts of power, sufficient for running a variety of microsensors


Mark Swaney




Patent Information:
App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date
Provisional United States 62/438,327 12/22/2016    
For Information, Contact:
Mark Swaney
Technology Licensing Officer
University of Arkansas
Paul Thibado
Pradeep Kumar
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