Piezoelectric energy harvesting using blood-flow-like excitation for implantable devices
University College Cork
The goal of this research is to produce a system for powering medical implants to increase the lifetime of the implanted devices and reduce the battery size. The system consists of a number of elements – the piezoelectric material for generating power, the device design, the circuit for rectification and energy storage. The piezoelectric material is analysed and a process for producing a repeatable high quality piezoelectric material is described. A full width half maximum (FWHM) of the rocking curve X-Ray diffraction (XRD) scan of between ~1.5° to ~1.7° for test wafers was achieved. This is state of the art for AlN on silicon and means devices with good piezoelectric constants can be fabricated. Finite element modelling FEM) was used to design the structures for energy harvesting. The models developed in this work were established to have an accuracy better than 5% in terms of the difference between measured and modelled results. Devices made from this material were analysed for power harvesting ability as well as the effect that they have on the flow of liquid which is an important consideration for implantable devices. The FEM results are compared to experimental results from laser Doppler vibrometry (LDV), magnetic shaker and perfusion machine tests. The rectifying circuitry for the energy harvester was also investigated. The final solution uses multiple devices to provide the power to augment the battery and so this was a key feature to be considered. Many circuits were examined and a solution based on a fully autonomous circuit was advanced. This circuit was analysed for use with multiple low power inputs similar to the results from previous investigations into the energy harvesting devices. Polymer materials were also studied for use as a substitute for the piezoelectric material as well as the substrate because silicon is more brittle.
Piezoelectric , Materials , FEM , Aluminium nitride , Energy harvesting
O'Keeffe, R. 2015. Piezoelectric energy harvesting using blood-flow-like excitation for implantable devices. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.