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Tribo-electric-nano-generator, MEMS, shock sensing, actuators, self-powered, energy harvester


This work shows zero-power shock sensing for the combination of a micro-triboelectric generator and MEMS electrostatic actuator system where the mechanical shock to the generator causes it to produce volt- age, this voltage is used to actuate a Micro-Electro-Mechanical-system (MEMS) switch. For the first time, we present the fabrication process of a Triboelectric-Nano-Generator (TENG) with MEMS technology. The MEMS-TENG has a suspended 1.5mm × 1.5mm plate separated by 2 μm from the substrate. The generator is a triboelectric transducer made of a suspended Al micro-plate above a polyimide (PI) thin layer that is covered by another Al layer in the back. In case the shock is sufficiently strong, the micro-plate hits its substrate. As a result of the impact, electrification happens and PI gets negatively charged, while the Al gets positively charged. Connecting the generator to a MEMS switch, we use the generated voltage to actuate a MEMS switch. The TENG was able to supply voltage difference up to 0.4 V at 2.3 g. We use the MEMS-TENG to actuate a cantilevered MEMS switch (500x20x2 μm) separated by a 2μm gap from a fixed bottom electrode.Triboelectric generators are known for high voltages and low currents, which makes them ideal for integration with MEMS electrostatic devices that require ultra-low power to operate. Our feasibility study opens doors to billions of innovative devices that can be created from this synergistic combination.

Publisher Attribution

The final version of this article is published in Nano Energy.


Available for download on Tuesday, September 03, 2024