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Micro thermal energy harvester design optimization

Auteur(s) : E. Trioux, S. Monfray, S. Basrour

Journal : Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering

Volume : 27

Issue : 11

Pages : 114001

This paper reports the recent progress of a new technology to scavenge thermal energy, implying a double-step transduction through the thermal buckling of a bilayer aluminum nitride/aluminum bridge and piezoelectric transduction. A completely new scavenger design is presented, with improved performance. The butterfly shape reduces the overall device mechanical rigidity, which leads to a decrease in buckling temperatures compared to previously studied rectangular plates. Firstly, an analytical model exposes the basic principle of the presented device. Then a numerical model completes the explanations by introducing a butterfly shaped structure. Finally the fabrication process is briefly described and both the rectangular and butterfly harvesters are characterized. We compare their performances with an equal thickness of Al and AlN. Secondly, with a thicker Al layer than AlN layer, we will characterize only the butterfly structure in terms of output power and buckling temperatures, and compare it to the previous stack.